Poisoned golden eagle at Glen Orchy – two years on…

Two years ago today, this dead golden eagle was discovered by hill walkers in Glen Orchy, Argyll. Government tests later showed it had been poisoned by the illegal pesticide Carbofuran. This poisoning incident made the national press (e.g. here).

Several days later, a multi-agency search was conducted in and around Glen Orchy. The police-led operation included the Oban Community Policing Team, specialist wildlife crime officers from three police forces (Strathclyde, Lothian & Borders and Central), experts from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, pesticide experts from the Scottish Government and representatives from the RSPB and Scottish SPCA. The police said afterwards that they were following a positive line of inquiry.

Meanwhile, during the police search two handguns were found in gamekeeper Tom McKellar’s loft. Eighteen months later in December 2010, McKellar was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow for having prohibited weapons. However, he avoided the usual mandatory five year custodial sentence and instead received 300 hours community service. Story here

So what happened to that ‘positive line of inquiry’ in the eagle poisoning investigation? Good question.

2 thoughts on “Poisoned golden eagle at Glen Orchy – two years on…”

  1. As with most of the other wildlife crime cases, it was xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxxx xx xxxxxxxxx. [Editor’s note: sorry but we cannot publish that without documentary evidence]

  2. In days when all Government institutions are instructed to pursue “Value for Money” principles I do wonder whether officials actually understand the thinking behind it all . I hate to think what the seemingly enthusiastic search cost given the number of agencies involved and yet…….nothing.

    Is it not time for the Procurator Fiscals in Scotland and the Crown Prosecution Service in England , if the responsibility lies with such bodies, to be open and honest with everyone and advise which cases have been “pulled” or substantially delayed and give some brief indication why? . On all too many cases with raptors there appears to be interminable delays. I imagine it’s simply because of the obvious difficulties in assembling evidence but, for once , it would be nice to know what’s happening rather than the isuue simply disappear. It would be dreadful if cases such as this were the victims of other kinds of value judgement, namely ,given a prosecution is obtained for some “easier” offence, the raptor case itself is then conveniently sidelined.

    All this is a great shame as there have been some notable succeses and I’m in no doubt that a lot of hard work goes into the process ,but a little bit more transparency wouldn’t go amiss!

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