Peregrine falcon found with shotgun injuries in Grampian has to be destroyed

Grampian Police are appealing for information after a shot peregrine had to be destroyed. The badly injured falcon was discovered in woodlands at the Pass of Ballater in the Cairngorms National Park on 27 April by a dog walker. Tests showed the bird had been wounded by a shotgun, with the pellets causing a serious fracture to its right leg.

Force Wildlife Crime Officer Dave MacKinnon says ” I am appealing for anyone, particularly in the upper Deeside area, who may have information as to who is responsible for shooting this protected bird.  It is an absolute disgrace that anyone thinks they have justification for shooting a rare and specially protected bird.

There are a few known peregrine nest sites in the Ballater area.  These birds like to nest on cliffs hence the reason for them choosing to trying to live and breed in upper Deeside.  

This latest incident of raptor persecution in Grampian clearly indicates that some people are still prepared to break the law risking a custodial sentence, the reputation of their employers, their livelihoods and their right to possess firearms.”

This statement hints that the finger of suspicion might be pointing at someone who works in the shooting industry, perhaps on a shooting estate. The Pass of Ballatar runs through land owned by Invercauld Estate, according to a well-known geographical resource. However, this bird wasn’t neccessarily shot at the Pass of Ballater, it was just found injured there. It could have been shot somewhere else nearby – there are several other well-known shooting estates in this area close to Ballatar whose employees have also previously been convicted of wildlife crime.

Anyone with information should call Grampian Police on 0845 600 5700.

BBC news story here

More details here

2 thoughts on “Peregrine falcon found with shotgun injuries in Grampian has to be destroyed”

  1. Yes certain people are prepared to break the Law, because they know that the chances of getting caught are remote, and if caught the punishment “IF” convicted will be a paltry fine at the most, which if they are employed by a Shooting Estate will more then likely be paid by the estate. As for their livelihoods and reputation of the estate, I don’t think so. That they lose their jobs would be very rare. Reputation of the estate, that’s a joke, most estates don’t give a dam about reputation as long as they are still in business. A custodial sentence, don’t hold your breath. Until somebody gets jailed the killing will go on, an example has to be made before Estates and their employees will think twice about killing Raptors and with our “unbiased” Justice system I for one can’t see that happening without big changes.

  2. it would be informative to identify which Peregrine eyrie has lost a resident bird (although this is not always easy) and which estates are encompassed by this territory. I think any estate that is not able to be a custodian for resident protected birds of prey should not qualify for any environmental grants..

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