There recently came news that the first breeding eagle owl to live in Britain for hundreds of years has died after being shot.

Her mate is reported to be distraught over her death.

When such animals are killed, the culprit is invariably associated with pheasant, partridge or grouse shooting. Any predator interfering with the production of birds for "sport shooting" by taking eggs, chicks or adult birds runs the risk of extermination.

That the 'offending' bird or mammal is a protected species has little impact on the ruthless types intent on maximising the profits from their blood sport.

The prevailing mind set can be gauged from a recent edition of a leading shooting magazine, in which appeared a feature listing the "30 Most Wanted Pests' in Britain animals who interfered with shooting or sport fishing.

As reported in The Times newspaper this week, the list included golden eagles, badgers, heron, pet cats and red kites.

With regard to the latter subject of an extensive reintroduction programme the magazine instructed readers on where the birds could be spotted.

Even more nauseating is the claim the shooting industry makes to being committed to biodiversity.

Andrew Tyler, director, Animal Aid