BASC statement in response to the death of a hen harrier

BASC has issued the following statement following the publication of a blog by Natural England detailing the death of a hen harrier, Asta.

“BASC has a clear zero tolerance approach to the illegal killing of birds of prey, condemning all illegal activity.

“Although there is no current criminal investigation, the detailed account provided by Natural England in the blog suggests that a crime has been committed. If the person or people involved in Asta’s probable death are part of the shooting community, they are not welcome, and their actions have directly undermined shooting and the benefit the activity brings to the environment and rural economy.

“BASC, along with its partner organisations, is proud to be part of the Defra hen harrier recovery plan, providing both support and funding. This collaborative effort has resulted in over 100 fledged hen harriers in England this year, the highest number for over a century. In contrast to other bird assemblages, nearly all UK birds of prey have witnessed population increases over the past two decades.

“The details provided by Natural England are a setback. BASC will not allow a small minority to derail the hen harrier conservation success story. As a committed conservation organisation we will keep taking progressive steps with our partners to oversee the continued recovery of hen harriers.

“If you have any information about this case please do not hesitate to contact the police.”