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Injured marsh harrier found in Norfolk
Once on the brink of extinction, the UK’s marsh harriers have seen a rise in numbers in recent years.
Photograph reveals bird had been shot

Norfolk Police are inviting members of the public to come forward with information after a male marsh harrier was found injured near Fakenham.

The bird was identified by a dog walker on the boundary of The Hawk and Owl Trust Nature Reserve at Sculthorpe Moore. Unfortunately, the dog walker was unable to take the bird to rescue, but he did take a photograph which revealed the bird had been shot.

The member of the public contacted staff at the nature reserve. But a subsequent search failed to find the bird; only broken down vegetation and a few feathers remained.

With the male marsh harrier having not been seen since, experts say his absence puts this year’s chicks at risk as both parents are required to supply them with enough food. Police are now urging anyone with any information to contact Jason Pegden ((PC1257 - Wells SNT (C11), North Norfolk LDU) on 101.

Nigel Middleton, Sculthorpe Moor reserve manager, said “We hear of birds of prey being killed illegally so often. Illegal persecution is such a problem and it’s inexcusable.

“Having it happen on our doorstep has come as a real shock. Marsh Harriers are the reason that Sculthorpe is a reserve. This is just horrifying. If anyone knows anything please let the police know. Let’s bring this criminal to justice”.

The Hawk and Owl Trust Nature Reserve recently announced the acquisition of more than 150 acres of land on either side of its existing 45-acre reserve. It is on the western side of the land, near Sculthorpe Mill, that the bird was found.

Once on the brink of extinction, the UK’s marsh harriers have seen a rise in numbers in recent years, thanks to a ban on pesticides. The birds feed on rodents, birds, insects, reptiles, frogs and even, on occasion, fish. 

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
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SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."