It goes without saying that I would encourage anyone with information about the illegal persecution of raptors to report what they know to the authorities. I believe that the Government’s commitment to tackling wildlife crime was highlighted by its decision to fund the UK’s specialist National Wildlife Crime Unit fully until at least 2020.

With regard to concerns about the impact of grouse shooting on moorland, it is my understanding that game management can make an important contribution to biodiversity by providing cover for wildlife, and through the creation and care of habitats such as woodland, grouse moors, beetle banks and hedgerows.

Game management plays an important role in the rural economy, generating income and employment in some of our most remote communities. For example, shooting contributes in the region of £2 billion to the rural economy and supports the equivalent of around 70,000 full-time jobs.