For the first time in over 40 years, Natural England has issued a licence for falconers to take wild peregrine chicks. The six peregrines licensed for will be taken from their nests and will spend the rest of their lives in captivity.

In a shocking move, the decision was made to allow a 'stud book' to be established, meaning that these birds will be bred from and their offspring will be used as 'sport' in falconry displays.

Despite the UK's peregrine population having severely declined during the 1990s due to widespread pesticide use, the species has since recovered significantly with 1,505 breeding pairs estimated to be in the UK in 2014. These data rubbishes any 'conservation' argument made by the falconers. One of the falconers who received a licence even admitted that, "if people believe wild animals should be left in the wild then there’s not much I can say."

Freedom for Animals' Director, Sam Threadgill, expressed his concern, commenting;

It is a disgraceful decision by Natural England to grant permission for these wild birds to be taken from their mothers' nests and to be reduced to spending the rest of their days in captivity. They should be allowed to live their free and natural lives.

Freedom for Animals is currently calling on DEFRA to ban tethering, a cruel practice observed at the vast majority of bird of prey centres throughout the UK in which birds are tied down for hours on end, unable to display their most fundamental behaviour: flight.

Contact DEFRA and demand they ban tethering!