Shropshire Star

Police warn rural residents to be on the lookout for egg thieves

West Mercia Police have asked members of the rural community to be aware of potential egg thieves targeting nests in the region.


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The force is part of Operation Easter, a national enforcement campaign aimed at protecting nesting wild birds.

The initiative was launched 27 years ago by National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) and it begins each year at Easter and runs until late May when a lot of birds are nesting.

The clampdown targets illicit egg collectors who steal the eggs for private collections.

PCSO Tally Hunt from West Mercia Police said: “West Mercia want to make our rural communities aware of nests that may be raided for eggs by collectors, or for chicks for the illegal trade.

“If you see any suspicious activity, please be sure to phone the Police. Please note down what the person(s) look like, what they are wearing, and any distinguishable features. If they are using a vehicle, please ensure to get the registration plate.”

The NWCU said the taking of wild bird eggs is a serious crime yet remains an illicit hobby for some determined individuals that often take whole clutches of eggs from some of the UK’s rarest birds.

The campaign runs until the end of May

Detective Inspector Mark Harrison from the UK NWCU says: “Thankfully, egg collecting as a hobby has declined over recent years due to effective law enforcement and a change in attitude, particularly as younger generations realise the negative impact that this crime has on our wild birds and biodiversity. But, the problem still persists and new related risks have also emerged, including the increase in wild taken birds of prey, chicks and eggs that are being illegally laundered into the legitimate falconry industry.”