Possibly a matter of a national fraud by the Bird Registration Department ?



In the UK the RSPB lobbied our elected representatives in Parliament to lay down legislation to protect our wildlife.  The primary legislation's for the protection of our wildlife are the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 [Hereby referred to as "the Act"] and the International Trade in Endangered species Act.  The Act stated there was a legal obligation to register all "schedule 4" birds .   The duty of enforcing this legislation falls on the Bird Registration Department (a section of DEFRA, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) in Bristol . The government body that advises as to what birds should be on the "schedule 4" list is called the Joint Nature Conservation Committee [JNCC] who are in turn advised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds [RSPB] and Birdlife International (partner organizations)


Before the the Act came into force the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [DEFRA] - who have gone by several names, originally the DoE, then DETR and now Defra - and Animal Health [AH] which is an executive agency of Defra's complied with their legal duty to consult with stakeholders, other government bodies and Non-Government Organizations' [NGO's] as to which birds should be registered in accordance with section 7 of the act.  In this initial document significantly there was no mention of hybrids.  This is confirmed by both Roy Pitt (the Enforcement Coordinator, Animal Health agency, UK CITES Management Authority) and the Head of Licensing and Enforcement Branch, Defra's Global Wildlife Division, John Hounslow.

28 05 08

Given the evidence there was no legal requirement to register hybrids,  this interesting statement is further proven by the following facts;

1] There were no hybrids bred in the UK when the Act went through Parliament and the House of Lords. Which is why there is no mention of Hybrids in Hansard (the official published verbatim report of the proceedings of a parliamentary body).   

2] When the Act came into force on 20th September 1982, there were not only no hybrids bred in the UK, they were not even contemplated when the Act went through or even mentioned in the Act.

The fact that there was no need to register hybrids was withheld from the public, hundreds of bird keepers have been registering hybrids with the impression it was their legal obligation, this was backed up by letters from the Bird Registration Department threatening penalties for non-registration of a 5 year ban on keeping registered birds and up to a £2000 fine. It only became apparent to us after reading a document that was sent by the Bird Registration Department (DEFRA) in relation to another legal matter in 2008. After we received documents that proved there was no need to register hybrids, under the FOI act 2000 (Freedom of Information Act), we took the opportunity to look through thousands of documents.  In so doing we noticed one document in particular; it was a letter illegally asking for a fee to register a peregrine/prairie hybrid falcon. The letter was dated 16/6/1986

16 06 86

This is before the amendment was made and therefore the money was clearly being taken by means of fraud as the government body had no right to ask for money to register hybrids. Moreover the government had a duty of care not to deceive members of the public which was apparently ignored. After receiving the document above we again corresponded with both Roy Pitt and John Hounslow and they again confirmed the previous statement, there was NO requirement to register hybrids bred prior to 24th May 1994. When we also asked for information on how many hybrids were registered before the amendment, we were falsely told by Mr Hounslow that no hybrids had been bred before May '94.

08 05 08

A total contradiction to the figures released by the DETR (Defra) before 1994

The fact is that the above letter totally disregards the duty of care and is clearly false as the previous letter and the pre-'94 registration figures proves. Sinisterly other requests for such information were also refused.  During this period many people were prosecuted for offences concerning hybrids, a typical example was a Mr L. Massey who was convicted for being in control of a peregrine/merlin falcon hybrid while he was banned from possessing registered birds. He was prosecuted by PC Henery (Northumberland police,) a key figure in this as his name will keep cropping up throughout the website.  The convictions and punishment occurred even though the Bird Registration Department (DEFRA) knew there was no legal requirement to register hybrids, therefore all the convictions themselves that took place before '94 were illegal and amounted to perverting the course of justice.  It should be noted that the police would have contacted the the Bird Registration Department (DEFRA) to see who registered the birds in question therefore they would be aware of what was occurring and yet they said nothing.

Post 1994

In May 1994 additional wording was added to the Act to include "any bird who's parents or lineal ancestors was a bird of a kind specified on the list (schedule 4)", for this amendment to be legal [White & Collins v Minister of Health] DEFRA MUST hold a consultation with all stakeholders. Without doing so all amendments made are thereby void (being Ultra-Vires.) The consultation that did take place however (see references for further information) made no mention of hybrids; the amendment only removed birds from the schedule 4 list. Again bearing in mind hybrids were not on the list previously they are therefore not on the amended list. Defra claims to have consulted over 7000 organizations and individuals (stakeholders/keepers) about hybrids yet when we contacted two prominent members of the Hawk Board (Dr Nick Fox and Mike Clowes) at the time the consultation was supposed to have taken place (bearing in mind that the Hawk Board is the political voice for falconry in the U.K and is consulted on all legal matters, frequently liaising with Defra) the reply from Mr Clowes stated very simply that there was NO consultation. Unfortunately though Nick Fox would not answer when asked. We then went further and posted a poll on the worlds largest falconry forum asking who was consulted, this poll ran for 6 months on the homepage of a forum with nearly 12,000 members yet not a single member had any recall of any consultation! (CLICK HERE)

It was then starting to become apparent that this did not take place. That said it is self evident that without the consultation on hybrids the amendment in '94 did not and has not ever required cross bred birds to be registered. This is further confirmed by a document from 23/02/09, stating they needed to come up with a legal definition of a hybrid species for charging purposes. So then how could they charge for hybrids when they were neither on the list nor did they even have a legal definition of such a bird.

So in summary, the amendment which now includes the bird’s lineage does not apply as this was Ultra-Vires without the appropriate consultation and we now know there has never been a legal definition of a hybrid falcon. The implications of this are massive, the Bird Registration Department (DEFRA) have been illegally taking money when they had no legislation backing their demands for registration and the fees that incurred. The fees they charge consist of 3 separate charges, the initial Registration fee of a Hybrid, a Fee imposed when the birds changes ownership and the re registration fee every 3 years.

After refusing to reimburse the money they had illegally taken from me (the recipient of the letters), I proceeded to send a court summons to DEFRA in the name of Hilary Benn [Environment Secretary] and John Hounslow [Head of Global Wildlife, Defra]. The summons was sent on the 16th September 2008 and was received by DEFRA on the 18th of the same month, from this point they had a deadline in which to reply which was the 2nd of October. However only five days after they received our summons they hurriedly distributed a letter stating that all hybrids would no longer need registration as of the 1st of October 2008, merely 1 day before the court hearing was to be held.

This is an excerpt from the letter, for a full copy follow the link below the document.

23 09 08

For the Full copy of this letter click HERE

A surprising letter as Animal Health [Defra] were already aware that no registration was required.  DEFRA's solicitors First legal issue was that they believed the summons was incorrectly served, stating Hilary Benn/John Hounslow should not have been the named persons on the summons. Using this they asked the courts for the case to be 'struck out' before it had even been put before the court. The allegation that we were incorrectly suing John Hounslow and Hilary Benn is incorrect as other cases have set the precedent for this, such as Lister v Romford Ice and Cold Storage Co .ltd (1957). The court refused to 'strike out' the case and their solicitors continued in delaying the court date with menial arguments which had no basis. Their lawyers in London at no point claimed the charging was legal, they skirted around the issue, saying our claim was out of time.My solicitor (Granville Rooley) who specializes in wildlife (RSPCA) cases, said his opinion was that they were wrong in regards to the claim being out of time as the relevant law states that the time limit only starts when a person becomes aware they have a possible course of action and the information we were dealing with had just come to light. Furthermore the Bird Registration Department (DEFRA) claim there would have been a consultation but it is not available, however given I am a stakeholder and hybrids have been my occupation for over 30 years I would have been aware of any consultation.  When we pressed this issue several people only suggested that they believed there would have been a consultation but none of the authorities could confirm it with written evidence. This is astounding as AH can recover documents of minor importance (click here for example) from 32 years ago, yet cannot seem to find a document which would have a large impact on the whole bird Registration Department and also a large impact on hundreds of bird keepers also collecting thousands of pounds in the process .So far it is seems likely they are attempting to conceal the documents to cover their illegal actions. And so with their arguments quashed it finally came to a head and the final court date was set for the 16th of january 2009.

Mark Robb v DEFRA (Hilary Benn and John Hounslow)

The 16th of January finally came.  When we arrived just 60 seconds prior to going in to court, we were approached by DEFRA's barrister, the barrister thrust a set of documents into my hand.  The documents wrongly given to me (as opposed to my representative) were Defra’s defence papers.   Due to the way the defence papers were only sprung on the wrong person at the last minute I refused to accept this was legally correct or just and threw them on the seat in disgust. Once in court my representative clearly explained to judge we had been ambushed with the defence contrary to the normal custom of receiving the defence's case before the date of the hearing therefore giving time to read the facts and to give a counter argument.  The judge told my representative to be quiet and drop the subject ! The defence that they used was called the Birds (Registration Charges) Act 1997, this legislation is "retrospective," although only for charges in accordance with WCA.



However since the registration fee I had been charged was not legitimate and was not in accordance with the Act, so the retrospective effect of the Birds Registration Charges Act does not apply ! The judge admitted we had a solid case but she did not understand it or want it in her courtroom, one thing was for certain, that again another illegal activity had taken place because the court case should have been adjourned until we had read all the documents for the defence and give us time to counter this. This was not allowed by judge regardless of it being common practice and necessary for a fair hearing. At present we are awaiting the manuscripts from the case and these will be posted on here when we receive them.

In this country you would naively believe justice would be done fairly and to be the same for every person regardless of their position. It would seem that justice is nothing but a monetary luxury, the governments civil servants should not be above the law. What follows is a basic summary of the offences committed by the Global wildlife division:

Fraudulently taking of money for Registration of Hybrids between 1981 and 1st October 2008, a total of 27 years illegally collecting money:

All search Warrants taken out in relation to Hybrids:

All prosecutions in relation to Hybrids (both successful or not):

Deception by AH/DEFRA:

Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice:


From all the unequalable evidence I have put on here there are only two possible conclusions, both of which are incredible. The first one is that the civil servants at the Global Wildlife Division/Bird Registration Department are so incompetent they are not fit for purposeor are they simply trying to benefit themselves by lying and illegally charging the general public ?

Even with all the evidence put before them EVERY police authority in England has continually ignored our requests for an investigation and have broken laws and their own duty of care by doing so.

For a full list of evidential documents click HERE

If you feel this page affects you, you can contact Animal Health using the details below;

John Hounslow:

The Wildlife Licensing and Registration services
Head of WLRS – John Hounslow,
Animal Health, Zone 1/17 Temple Quay House,
2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol

Or contact your local MP (their details can be found online) or further still contact the police in relation to fraud.