Jennifer Whitmore TD, Social Democrats spokesperson on Climate Action, said that a report detailing the deliberate killing of hundreds of birds of prey highlights the urgency for the establishment of a Wildlife Crime Unit.

Deputy Whitmore said:

“The report revealed that the vast majority of Ireland’s birds of prey killed by human attacks or other activity were poisoned. It found that over 300 were found to have been poisoned or suffered some form of unnatural death between 2007 and 2019.

“This illustrates how important it is to have a dedicated crime unit in this area. Incidents where animals have been targeted have been recorded in all parts of Ireland but prosecution levels have been extremely low.

“There were 338 incidents confirmed and recorded on the RAPTOR database during the period concerned, which is unacceptably high.

“I welcome the Minister indicating his intention to establish a much-needed Wildlife Crime Unit, which will be located within the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“This was a key call of mine in Budget 2021 and in my role as spokesperson for Climate Action and member of the Climate Action Committee.

“I urge the Minister to ensure that this happens quickly and the unit is adequately resourced so it can carry out its remit in an effective manner. It will hopefully lead to an increase in the prosecution of cases and act as a deterrent to repeat offenders who are involved in crimes against animals.”

October 21, 2020

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