Letter to Richard Benyon MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries
Richard Benyon MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries
17 Smith Square
20th February 2012
I am writing to express my support for protecting hares during their breeding season, as one way of preventing a further decline in the UK’s hare population.
As you will know, the hare population here has reduced by an estimated 80 percent in the last century. Early Day Motion 2532, a copy of which is overleaf, asserts that the shooting of hares during their breeding season is cruel and unnecessary and argues that a close breeding season is needed to protect nursing mothers and their dependent young.
Under the 1995 UK Biodiversity Action Plan, a Species Action Plan for brown hares set a target to double springtime numbers by 2010 – this goal has not been achieved. Legislation has recently come into force in Scotland making it an offence to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or capture brown hares and mountain hares during their respective breeding seasons. Much of Europe already offers similar protection to hares.
I urge you to pursue this matter further and look forward to hearing from you.
CLOSE SEASON FOR HARE SHOOTINGThat this House deplores the shooting of hares throughout their breeding season as cruel and unnecessary; notes that in Scotland the brown hare and mountain hare now have close seasons to protect nursing mothers and their dependent young; and calls on the Government to confer similar protection upon these icons of the British countryside.