Buzzard Capture Planned To Protect Pheasant Shoots

Islanders are urged to email the MP responsible for the plans to cull the native buzzard in order to protect pheasant shoots

Islander Joe Caudwell (aka didgeridoo musician Cephalodidge) has been in touch with his concerns about Government plans that could affect our native buzzards.

Buzzard:He says there are proposals to control the population of buzzards and that DEFRA and the Government are planning to spend £375,000 to destroy buzzard nests and capture this beautiful bird.

The reason for this action? To protect pheasant shoots.

Have your say
He is appealing to Islanders to write to Andrew Turner, the Isle of Wight MP and the MP responsible, Richard Benyon.

You can email them via and

Read more about the plans, that have been condemned by Conservationists.

Update: title amended to reflect capture rather than cull

Image: ahisgett under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 24th May, 2012 9:16am



Filed under: Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Politics

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Honey_Buzzard

    24.May.2012 9:27am

    Please explain why tax payers money will be spent killing buzzards at the whim of a private business?

    What about all the dead pheasants by the side of the road, are car drivers next on DEFRA’s hit list?

    Write to Andrew Turner & if you so wish you can also comment on Richard Benyon, DEFRA minister, Facebook Page – I’m sure he’d love to hear your views

  2. Haha! Write to Andrew Turner. That’s hilarious!

    Seriously though, I would urge people to contact someone who might actually be prepared to do something about this appalling idea. Forget ‘nice little earner’ Turner though, please!

    • D W Roxborough

      29.May.2012 1:33pm

      It is Ludicrous that native birds should be penalised possibly shot or moved for the non native pheasant,I see more buzzards scavenging rather than killing , Greater Black back gulls pose more of a threat to the likes of Grouse chicks and I would think that they also predate on pheasant poults, save the native buzzard
      D W Roxborough

  3. Yeah, right...

    24.May.2012 10:42am

    I imagine the shooter has become bored of killing pheasants. She and he have a more fun to kill animal in their sights now. And demand protection from the top.

  4. Possibly the most appalling idea I have ever heard
    All pandering to toffs and hooray henry’s. I guarnatee this will end up with mass killings of these birds. – ‘Come to the Isle of Wight, and lets all watch the wholesale slaughter of our magnificent wildlife’. A great advert
    This Benyon chap is out of touch with the common man/ woman.
    Our wildlife needs more protection, not wiping out.

    • I’m sorry, since when has shooting been the sole preserve of, as you put it “toffs and hooray henry’s” ?
      I shoot but I’m a builder.
      Before launching into such statements, maybe you should obtain the correct facts first.

      I would also add that the way in which this article is written is not objective in any way. It is designed to shock and for once, I am quite surprised at VB for the way it has been written.

      Come on VB – you can do better than this.

      • having read the original document, I find this report adequaltly reflects its findings and proposals and the real shock is the fact that a government department is prepared to suggest such a rediculous idea.

        Shooting is not the sole preserve of the rich….just they make up a major part of it with the rest just trying to get a foot on the ladder.

      • Sally Perry

        24.May.2012 12:59pm

        The information in the article is based on Joe’s appeal to readers. If you’d like to write a ‘Letter to the Editor’ arguing the case for destroying the nests of Buzzards and keeping them in captivity, we’d be more than happy to run it.

        • Man in Black

          24.May.2012 1:00pm

          I’d be very interested to hear Miffed’s arguments for spending £375,000 of our money on this exercise.

          • Personally, I would rather see £375,000 of tax payers hard earned cash going to the Hospice or cancer research. Most of the population dosen’t shoot, however most of the population WILL be affected by this terrible disease in one form or another.

  5. Ryde a Wight Swan

    24.May.2012 12:26pm

    The same Andrew Turner MP who sponsors IW Hunt events?

    • Masons Watch

      24.May.2012 12:34pm

      Someone’s posh mate or donantion source has complained…….remember “we are all in this together”? No, don’t think so but poor old Mr Turner needs to keep the landed gentry vote going – it may be his only voter base soon. What an appalling idea and SHAME on you if you support this……trouble is he’s likely to have the Boy Pugh snapping at his next selection meeting heels…… you think our MP has any coherent idea of what the Island population (‘normal, not pheasant breeders or shoot owners) actually wants?
      Seems unlikely – perhaps the dinner party circuit is finding the price of a brace increasing due to packs of marauding buzzards – it’s a Millibland plot!!!!!

  6. See more info and some interesting debate on this interesting issue here:

    (Posted in my personal capacity, not IWC)

  7. ‘I shoot but I’m a builder ‘
    … well you are probably better off than most toffs etc. So what you are saying is that destroying our endemic wildlife is a great idea as it will give you more pheasants (an introduced species btw) to shoot at?
    ~NB I have no issues whatsoever with hunting, be it with guns or even with dogs etc for that matter. What irks me the fact that that you want the odds stacked dramatically in your own favour.
    I own a gun, in the past I have hunted rabbits, and even today use as to control the local rat population (both rabbits and the Brown Rat are also introduced species). I can handle a bit of competition with the local wildlife, why can’t people on shoots?

  8. Braveheart

    24.May.2012 1:37pm

    It seems to me that our present government is hell-bent on destroying anything and everything at the drop of a hat throughout their term in office, David Cameron and his cronies have waited a long time to be in the position of waiving the big stick and bellowing orders at everyone.

    Cut this! Cut that! Destroy this! Destroy that! Is their war cry, as they push our country and its values closer and closer towards total destruction, why should conservationists be allowed to spend money on safeguarding endangered species of animals that will get in the way of progress?

    First on the list for culling were the Badgers, now it’s the Buzzards because they supposedly kill the pheasants which are reared for shooting. I wonder which next poor thing will get rubber stamped for the cull.

    Personally, I don’t feel we spend enough money on safeguarding our declining animals and birds but, can now see that it will certainly be a complete waste of time expecting any government subsidy.

  9. Mike Starke

    24.May.2012 2:48pm

    I think we are looking at this problem from the wrong end of the telescope; it is my experience on the Island’s roads, as a motorist and a cyclist, that some of the most dangerous hazards are caused by pheasants. They can do severe and costly damage to both cars and bikes. Believe me.

    So, surely, we should be eradicating pheasants, not buzzards (an inherently carrion bird, by the way as the bigger menace.

    As a one-time member of the excellent Isle of Wight Gun Club, I commend any shooters thus denied their non-native pheasant targets to the exacting and exhilarating sport of clay pigeon shooting, that simulates the flight of a number of types of game birds and even the running of rabbits.

    The only difference is that the targets are not live. If that spoils the “fun” for some “guns”, I suggest they seek the help of a psychiatrist.

    If however, my sensible plan is rejected in favour of the dotty buzzard cull (because, believe me, that is what it will become), I would like to know how taxpayers came to be footing the bill to subsidise a minority sporting activity.

    Perhaps those of us down the Dog And Duck public bar could get some tax cash to replace our dart board, which is looking a bit tatty…

  10. Ruzena Babicova

    24.May.2012 3:37pm

    I cant believe what I have just read. I try really hard not to offend somebody, but.. are you crazy????????

  11. Louise Simpson

    24.May.2012 4:10pm

    This is appalling news, spending money and killing our wildlife.. surely there are more important things to do with the TAX payers money than murder these animals!!!!

  12. Braveheart

    24.May.2012 4:22pm

    Animals inhabited the planet long before mankind. As time progressed and humans joined them in the race for existence some became hunted for their skins, feathers and meat.

    With further progression of time attitudes towards animals began changing with more and more people killing them for sport, the sheer enjoyment of knowing they can wield the power.

    In many places around the world native species were being hunted to extinction, and in others various non native breeds were being introduced to swell the numbers thus giving a wider scope for blood lusting people to pay for the privilege of killing.

    Some using packs of dogs to tear their quarry apart limb by limb, others using snares or shot guns, no matter which method is used it still goes against the grain of the greater majority of people.

    So the Government and DEFRA, instead of spending vast amounts of money on destroying Buzzard nests and capturing adult birds should subsidise the pheasant shoots in order that they can build better protection for the young birds.

    I find this to be a far better solution than encouraging people to alter their mindset to believing we should as a norm eradicate birds of prey, because they do not fit in with a certain set of people in our society.

  13. Steephill Jack

    24.May.2012 6:06pm

    Maybe we should shoot herons because they eat goldfish in garden ponds ?

  14. The history of mankinds love affair with hunting has sadly gone hand in hand with the extinction of many marvellous creatures, the Great Auk is of course a classic example, almost unbelievably the last pair were found on a nest with eggs, so out came a lump of wood, and they were battered to death the eggs blown and that was the end of the entire species. Amazingly they new that those 2 birds were the end of the line, but they were still killed regardless, presumably for a nice tidy sum for the eggs and pelts. The passenger pigeon and buffalo in the US, we’re quite literally the most populous birds and mammals on the planet, all the pigeons were wiped out in just a few months in the 19th century, and no true American bison remain
    . Wild boar, the beech marten , lynx , Wolf all hunted to extinction in Britain.
    The Osprey, red kite, white tailed eagle were all extinct until recently, the list is endless. We are even trying to wipe out all of our nearest ancestors, all the great apes are in serious trouble. A sad indictment of humanity.

  15. I agree with this idea to a degree. Don’t forget that the Buzzards were re-established into the wild on the island, and since then the local populations of red squirrels, which are endangered, has plummeted significantly. To protect the pheasant shooting is not the only benefit from this. They do however need to find a suitable solution to this rather than mass culling of the bird, which i do also like to see in the local area, yet not in such high numbers that threatens other species.

  16. The buzzard re-colonised the island of their own accord after being exterminated as vermin early in the 19th century, coincidently the same time as the last English sea eagles , yes sea eagles were nesting on the IoW until the end of the 19th century. Nature and natural selection worked fine for 5 billion years, never before has a single species (man) caused the total destruction of habitat and wildlife . It won’t end well for any of us .

  17. Check out-
    Just a few recent examples of what we are proud to have achieved, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. The sad reality is that it seems the planet is now too small for billions of humans and the remaining flora and fauna.

  18. Check out-
    Just a few recent examples of what we are proud to have achieved, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. The sad reality is that it seems the planet is now too small for billions of humans and the remaining flora and fauna.

  19. I’m sure that just recently in the county press there was such a hue and cry regarding someone shooting or trapping a buzzard and that it was against the law?

  20. It is indeed very illegal to harm or disturb any raptor at the moment, the point is shooters want the law change as they perceive Buzzards to be ruthless killers of young pheasants ( which they are not, and all the evidence supports this ) which are to be raised to be slaughtered for the enjoyment of a tiny minority. Buzzards in fact will eat a wide variety of foods , earthworms and carrion make the bulk of there food intake, but blood lusting shooters can’t accept this FACT. Now I’m not suggesting that buzzards won’t take young pheasants, they do indeed , in a recent study Raptors took 0.6% of chicks. To me that seems a small price to pay. The reality is gamekeepers live in a bygone age with bygone attitudes. I would imagine predation by magpies , foxes and even your pet puss eclipses that figure.

  21. I live along the Military Rd & drive along it every day. In the mornings the road is always littered with casualties from speeding early-morning drivers, usually rabbits but also lots of bird varieties. There are places where buzzards sit and wait, in the same spots every day. I see them collect the bodies of rabbits etc, drag them on to the verge and eat them. They are opportunists and scavengers, and do a good job tidying up the roadkill.

  22. As a young lad, pre war, I acted as a beater on the moors in Lancashire. Grouse were plentiful in those days, alas the birds have now nearly all been shot out of existence.

    What do we see now? No beaters, just large wicker baskets of pheasants being taken to the woods or copses by tractor, and released at intervals.
    The shooters are waiting; the birds fly with the wind, most likely for the first time, then most are blasted from the sky.

    I have even seen shooters shooting at red-shank and other wading birds whilst waiting for their quarry to appear from the trees.

    What sort of people get a kick out of this slaughter of living creatures? It would be nice if the birds could shoot back. That would soon put an end to this barbarism.

    It’s high time that our Royal family set an example, they spend enough time in church,
    ‘All things bright and beautiful, etceteras’. Bl**dy hypocrites!

  23. witchfinder general

    26.May.2012 5:32am

    We should all petition parliament to get the pheasant put on the protected list.

  24. What sort of people get a kick out of this slaughter of living creatures?
    ….. Well judging by the response on here, not the average joe . Most of the sickest murderers in history started out slaughtering and torturing animals.

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