All wild birds are protected Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. There are strong penalties for those found to have committed offences against birds of prey and other wildlife. Most of these crimes carry up to an unlimited five and/or a six-month custodial sentence.
Hen Harriers have been the subject of the Government’s attention for some time and it has developed the Hen Harrier Action Plan. This plan sets out what will be done to address the decrease in Hen Harrier populations in England. Part of the plan includes measures to stop illegal persecution.
The Government are also aware of the need to phase out rotational burning of vegetation and has taken action by promoting sustainable alternatives to this practice. Furthermore, legislation is being considered which could help to achieve more sustainable practices.
There are no plans to review the management of grouse moors or driven grouse shooting. The Government work to ensure there is a mutually beneficial relationship between shooting and conservation, and there is evidence that shows predator control results in increases in breeding success of other bird species.