Two dead buzzards found next to a poisoned rabbit bait were poisoned by carbofuran. The buzzards and the bait were discovered in a farm field near Boat of Garten on October 15 this year, by staff from the Strathspey Estate. They called the police and the birds were sent off for toxicology tests. A spokesman from Strathspey Estate said they were shocked by the poisoning. He added, “Considering the efforts made to enhance the wildlife conservation and biodiversity on the estate, it is inconceivable that any of our staff had any part whatsoever in the laying of poisoned bait“.
Northern Constabulary and Strathspey Estate are “working closely” to find those responsible. I’m not sure how delaying the news of these deaths for 7 weeks will have helped the investigation but still, at least Northern Constabulary appear to be involved this time. Shame we can’t report the same for the two poisoned eagles found dead on Northern Constabulary’s patch back in June. Six months have now elapsed and still no news…
BBC news for the buzzard poisoning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-11958330
Strathspey Estate is owned by the Earl of Seafield, who also owns the Seafield Estate. A buzzard was found poisoned by chloralose on Seafield Estate back in 1991, but no further public records of alleged raptor persecution have appeared since then. Strathspey Estate is actively involved in projects on capercaillie and Scottish wildcat, and is also helping with the satellite-tracking of two golden eagles born on the Estate in summer 2010. The Earl of Seafield signed the SRBPA/SEBG letter to Roseanna Cunningham in May 2010, on behalf of the Seafield & Strathspey Estates, condemning the illegal poisoning of raptors in Scotland. Sandy Lewis, the Chief Executive of Seafield Estate was previously the Chair of the SEBG (Scottish Estates Business Groups), and is, according to the SEBG website, currently their regional rep for North and West Scotland. He was involved in a fascinating legal case earlier this year, involving a grouse-shooting lease in Strathspey. The case also involved land agents Mark Osborne and Nick Baikie, familiar names to readers of this blog. Here are two links to that story: