British Government Kills Buzzards To Preserve Sport for the Rich

Target: British Under-Secretary of State Richard Benyon

Goal: Don’t slaughter the recovering Buzzard population just to protect pheasant hunters.

Richard Benyon and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs want to destroy Buzzard nests so that they can preserve the population of Pheasants, birds that are released so that members of the upper class can enjoy their time-honored tradition of game shooting.  The buzzard population is on the rise, thanks to a decades long conservation effort, but now the politicians who are supposed to be protecting them want them dead so that Pheasants, an introduced species, can flourish before being shot out of the sky.   Tell Richard Benyon to stop using British tax money and sacrificing conservation so that the upper class can continue to shoot pheasants for fun.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have agreed to fund a study on the effects of capturing buzzards and destroying their nests on pheasant populations.  Over 40 million Pheasants, an introduced species, are released annually for game hunting.  Many of these birds become integrated with the feral Pheasant population at a hefty cost to other native birds in Britain, such as the Grey Partridge.  Benyon is concerned that the growing buzzard population is responsible for the quarter of young Pheasants, or Poults, being lost each year.  Reporter George Monbiot quotes a study by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds that states that it is likely that, “only about 1-2% of Poults are killed by birds of prey.  Forty five percent are shot for game and most of the others are probably lost due to factors like road collision or become part of the feral population.”  Monbiot also accuses Benyon, a landowner, of using public money to fund the interests of the upper class.

The bill for the study reaches nearly $600,000.  This is an unacceptable price tag for an experiment that kills one species so that another one can survive and be shot for sport.  Conservation should be the mission of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  Instead, use the money to fund a study on competition between non-native Pheasants and native British Birds.


Dear Mr. Richard Benyon,

The experiment to capture Buzzards and destroy their nests so that young Pheasants can be preserved is irresponsible and wrong.  As a landowner and a member of the upper class, you are using your political power to preserve the sport of game hunting at the expense of conservation.  You claim that the Buzzard population, which is on the rise thanks to years of conservation efforts, is responsible for the 25% of young Pheasants that are lost when these non-native birds are released annually for game hunting.  A study by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds suggests that birds of prey are only responsible for 1-2% of these deaths and that most of the lost Pheasants are killed in road collisions or become integrated into the feral Pheasant population.

The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs exists that British taxpayer money can fund projects and studies that promote conservation, something that benefits all citizens.  Using nearly $600,000 to make sure Pheasants are surviving so that members of the upper class can ultimately shoot them out of the sky for fun is irresponsible and wasteful.  Use the money to instead to fund a study on the effects of competition between feral Pheasants and native game birds.  Please cancel the study and take a stand for British Buzzards.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Martha Clunie says:

    How can a successful conservation effort be jeopardised to pander to the wishes of the rich and famous. It beggars belief that the Dept of the Environment,Food and Rural affairs can be so easily swayed by lobbyists of a “certain” class

  2. This is already old news and petition unnecessary. It been reviewd and intended actions will not now happen. By the way C. Baronowski – not just the ‘upper classes’ do shoots anyone that has enough money can and if in IT or banking that can be an original ‘working class’ person. If you don’t understand the British system then better not to bring it into your argument.

  3. end the killings for these turds to have something to kill now. you got money do something good with it now.

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