The Birdcrime Report is published annually by the RSPB as a summary of related offences against birds of prey that have been collated by its investigations team. It’s report for 2018, which was published on 28 August 2019, shows a disappointing increase in all but shooting incidents of bird of prey related persecution, with those for trapping and poisoning incidents being notable.
Within the UK, there were 87 confirmed incidents of bird of prey persecution recorded in 2018, of which 41 were shooting related, 26 were poisoning (pesticide) abuse incidents, 16 involved illegal trapping, and two were classified as ‘other’. However, despite the RSPB’s attempts to do so, these offences were not exclusive to the uplands and driven grouse shooting, as half of all the shooting and poisoning incidents, and almost two thirds of the trapping incidents, occurred in counties totally unassociated with grouse shooting.
Although it would appear that only 5 incidents have been directly linked to grouse moors in 2018, the report has unfortunately become little more than a lobbying and fundraising tool driven by the RSPB’s politically driven campaign to see driven grouse shooting licensed. A number of the claims made within it are either unsubstantiated, or intentionally misleading. Our analysis of the 2018 Birdcrime Report can be read here.