Poisoner at Leadhills Estate could not be identified

Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire has been at the centre of several wildlife crime investigations.

A gamekeeper on the Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire, was found not guilty of alleged raptor persecution crimes on the Leadhills grouse moor.

Leadhills Estate was raided in September 2006 after a tip-off about the continued use of illegal poisons to kill raptors. Rabbit baits and two dead buzzards were recovered from the estate, as well as knives and a gamebag that contained residues of the illegal poison, Carbofuran.

The case came to court in November 2008. Sheriff Stewart concluded, “No doubt illegal posioning was occuring on this estate in 2006 and that birds were poisoned”. However, from the evidence presented, she was unable to determine whether this particular gamekeeper was responsible, as his defence team claimed that the knives and gamebag were used communually, rather than exclusively by him. This defence is often used to successfully avoid individual prosecution.

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