BIRD crime statistics for last year reveal one reported incident in Dorset and 10 in Hampshire.

Reported in the RSPB Birdcrime account, seven related to birds of prey and three to other birds.

Dorset’s, concerning a bird of prey, was one of a total of 29 incidents in the south-west region while Hampshire’s were from a total of 40 in the south east.

However the birdcrime report which reveals 164 incidents of shooting and destruction of birds of prey during 2013 nationally, has been challenged by the Countryside Alliance.

“The Alliance does not condone wildlife crime in any way,” said Adrian Blackmore, director of shooting for the Countryside Alliance.

“However, the number of reported incidents is significantly higher than those actually confirmed, making the headline figures extremely misleading.”

He said populations of almost all birds of prey were at their highest levels since records began and the evidence did not support the RSPB’s attack on shooting.

The RSPB report recorded confirmed shooting of two hen harriers, two marsh harriers, five peregrines and 28 buzzards. It also included 74 reported incidents of wildlife poisoning and pesticide-related offences.

Confirmed victims of poisoning included 30 buzzards, 20 red kites, a golden eagle and white-tailed eagle.

However the RSPB says this is the tip of the iceberg, with many incidents undetected and unreported.

Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director said: “The RSPB challenges members of the shooting community to acknowledge that illegal persecution is a problem within the industry and that a change of attitude is needed in order to make a serious and effective effort to finally consign bird of prey persecution to the history books.”

Bill Oddie, RSPB vice-president said: “We’re losing hundreds of our most magnificent birds of prey each year because of the mindless and senseless slaughter by a minority group, and it needs to stop.”