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UK Government has 'the perfect opportunity to solve some of the biggest conservation problems facing the world', say two leading wildlife charities

Last modified: 27 October 2014

Red kite in flight

Image: Steve Round

Today [Monday 27 October], the UK Government has ‘the perfect opportunity to solve some of the biggest conservation problems facing the world in one stroke’, according to experts from wildlife charities the RSPB and WWT.

At a meeting being held today, representatives from the UK Government will meet with their counterparts from across Europe to discuss whether to support a groundbreaking international resolution to reduce and minimise poisoning of migrating birds.
The resolution is being taken to a conference of the Convention for Migratory Species in Ecuador this November.  If approved the Resolution will  set out a road map for how countries across the world, including the UK, can tackle poisoning of birds from lead shot, insecticides, rodenticides, use of poisoned baits  and veterinary drugs such as the vulture-killing drug diclofenac.
The draft resolution is the culmination of years of work by a group made up of global experts on poisoning and co-ordinated by a post funded by the UK Government. 
Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director, said: “The people in that room today have the perfect opportunity to be part of an historical move that will tackle one of the biggest and most wide-ranging conservation problems facing some of the world’s most-threatened wildlife.  Supporting this resolution to address poisonings would bring us one step closer to the historical moment when we can declare an end to this major conservation issue. The UK has, in many ways, led the world on efforts to tackle poisoning and this resolution is the opportunity for us to continue to be at the forefront for years to come.”
Jeff Knott, WWT’s head of conservation policy, said: “This is a unique opportunity for the world’s governments to look at the vast amount of global evidence of the damaging impact of poisons, and to be part of a global decision to stop it. The great thing is there are already a range of ways to address these issues, so it would just be a case of working with industries on timelines to phase out the poisons. The UK Government has already supported work to reduce poisoning and now’s the moment for it to build on this and reinforce the UK’s role as a global leader on tackling poisoning for future generations.”

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