HC Deb 10 July 2003 vol 408 c921W
Mr. Martlew

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will investigate the reports she has received that ospreys have been shot and their nest site destroyed in the area surrounding the River Eden in North Cumbria; and if she will make a statement. [123561]

Mr. Bradshaw

All wild birds are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which implements the EC Birds Directive in Great Britain. It is an offence under Section 1 to kill, injure or take any wild bird, take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while that nest is being built or destroy or take the eggs of any wild bird. In addition to this, birds listed on Schedule 1, such as the Osprey, are also protected from disturbance whilst it is building a nest or is in, on or near a nest containing eggs or young.

Defra and English Nature takes very seriously the protection of all species of wild birds, especially those listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended).

Neither the Department, nor English Nature, have received any evidence of the persecution of osprey's in Cumbria. Any such evidence should be passed to the police immediately for investigation.