The National Voluntary Panel on Captive Hawks, now known as The Hawk Board, came into being in the late 70s` when the then, Department of the Environment were preparing the Wildlife & Countryside Bill. The Advisory Committees for the Protection of Birds for England, Scotland and Wales established a joint working group to look into the question of falconiformes in captivity.
In the course of time a comprehensive report was issued which the Government agreed to treat as a consultative document and the British Field Sports Society, now the Countryside Alliance, agreed to become the umbrella body to effect the necessary co-ordination. Representatives of falconers, zoos, veterinary surgeons and hawk keepers generally were elected onto the panel and the first meeting was held in 1979.
Since then, the Board has been recognised by all government departments as the representative body for falconers and hawk keepers in the UK. A member of the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). attends each Hawk Board meeting.
We also have a member of their advisory body, the Joint Nature Conservancy Council at meetings when required. We are invited to DEFRA meetings, such as the Sustainable Users Network (SUN)Group and other relevant group meetings, and as a result are on the Consultation Lists of many of the departments of DEFRA.
Whatever bird of prey interests you, whether you are a falconer, breeder, display giver or rehabilitator, the Hawk Board is there for you. The HB works continuously and tirelessly to protect all our rights to keep and fly raptors.
We are currently constituted via the falconry club structure, which, with the Campaign for Falconry, provides our funding, but we make no distinction and favour no one, regardless of whether their passion is owls or eagles (and everything in between).
We are the first point of contact between raptor keepers and government departments, and as such have always been included in any consultation on new laws, or changes to existing legislation. We have done this voluntarily for the falconry community since our formation in 1979.
The Hawk Board has strong links with the Countryside Alliance and with the global falconry community through the International Association for Falconry but most of all we strive for a cast iron relationship with the UK's falconers and raptor keepers. Please continue to support us and provide continued feedback on issues you think are important.