When I contacted almost two hundred different bird and natural history groups a couple of weeks ago, asking for their support with the above, I also elected to provide an occasional update on progress.
Well, since contacting you the total number of signatures has moved forward significantly and now is over 8100! Thank you so much to those who have already taken time out to provide support. Whilst I've never suffered under the illusion that the petition would automatically result in my proposals for regulation to be embraced without a lot more persuasion and politicking, the objective of keeping the subject alive is being met and handsomely at that.
However, a new challenge is within our grasp to achieve with a little more effort. If the petition reaches 10,000 signatures it receives an official Government response from the Department concerned, in this case DEFRA. I'm sure we can envisage already the likely content of such a reply, BUT it is important to realise that such a statement can then be quoted back at Government and used in a variety of ways to ensure the proposals are kept alive for an even longer period and remain within the "conservation debate".
Well I guess you know what's coming next!! Signatures and more signatures, yes please! But remember, this is not just a petition on which birdwatchers can express their support, it's for many other people as well, people who may not be active wildlife watchers, but who nonetheless have a heartfelt concern for our natural heritage not being put under assault as the continuing threat of raptor persecution threatens to do. This is a constituency which is not easy to reach ( unless your're rich and can afford a full page advert in a daily newspaper !! ). As conservationists and birders we're all busy and I'm sure take time to discuss our sightings with colleagues and like minded friends on a regular basis, after all that's part of the enjoyment of it all. But we've also contact with others outside of that immediate circle of like-minded enthusiasts. People who we know have as great a love for wildlife as ourselves. Within that constituency are many who I am sure would lend support to the above petition, particularly with a little help if the issues were explained. We all know the problem, who is involved, who refuse to recognize that it is people within their own ranks who are responsible for the utter shameful scourge that is raptor persecution in this modern age, persecution that is pursued for commercial gain and self -interest. I suppose the only thing left to say is, if the opportunity arises to recruit someone willing to sign, then give it a try and thank you so much for your support. Much appreciated.