The impact of raptors (primarily buzzard, sparrowhawk, hen harrier, peregrine falcon, goshawk and tawny owl) on gamebirds continues to be passionately debated. The reasons are many but currently include recovering and increasing raptor populations, declines in some gamebird populations, real or perceived impact on shooting interests, and strict legal protection of raptors.
Illegal killing of raptors also continues despite the efforts of shooting and countryside organizations, conservation bodies and the police to reduce it.
Calls for the control of raptors have increased, for both population control and licensed killing of individual birds or their translocation. Conflict between game management and other conservation interests has increased as a result of both the illegal killing and calls for control. This adversely affects relationships between shooting and non-shooting bodies. Also harmed is the public image of shooting in general and gamekeeping in particular.
This policy, in support of both game shooting and the conservation of raptors, seeks to assist game managers faced with problems from raptors.