Poisoned buzzard found near poisoned bait on Glenlochy Moor

Northern Constabulary has today issued a warning to dog walkers in the Strathspey area after a distressed buzzard was found near a poisoned bait on Glenlochy Moor. The buzzard and grouse bait were found in late September in the Haughs area above Cromdale, and the bait was sent for toxicology testing. The results showed that it had been laced with the banned pesticide Aldicarb. The buzzard apparently recovered and was later released.

This is not the first time poisoned baits and birds have been discovered in this area, which is well known for its driven red grouse moors. Some previous incidents include (but are not limited to) the discovery of a poisoned buzzard and a red kite in 2005 – they had been killed by the banned pesticide Carbofuran. No charges were brought (see here). In 2008, a high-profile police raid was carried out on Glenlochy Moor after the discovery of poisoned buzzards and red kites, and poisoned baits (see here). No charges were brought. In May this year, a poisoned buzzard was discovered in the nearby area – it had been killed by Carbofuran and Aldicarb (see here). We are not aware of any charges being brought. And now this latest incident in September 2011. Hmmm. Anyone else seeing a pattern?

Northern Constabulary are to be congratulated for (a) releasing a press release to warn the general public in the area of the dangers of these lethal pesticides and (b) naming the estate where the poison was found. This is a great improvement on some of their recent responses to alleged persecution incidents in their region. However, an earlier press release would have been better, even if they just suspected that poison was present – rather than waiting for six weeks before the test results came back. West Yorkshire police managed to do it earlier this year (see here) – it should be standard practice for all police forces, unless of course they intend to launch an imminent police raid and don’t want to alert the suspects. Nevertheless, we still do applaud this action by Northern Constabulary and welcome their increased interest in illegal raptor persecution in their area. Well done.

Northern Constabulary press release here

BBC News article here

2 thoughts on “Poisoned buzzard found near poisoned bait on Glenlochy Moor”

  1. Yes, it makes a change doesn’t it ! At least if they can’t find enough evidence to bring a successfull prosecution it will do them no harm to mention the estate where the poison was found. Lets hope it continues and wish them more success in bringing the criminals to trial, we can only hope our justice system and the sheriffs etc, are of a like mind.

  2. A reminder here…[see this website, incident 2001, appeal in 2003]…in one of the very few legal “test cases” on wildlife killing ever brought in Scotland [an Appeal Court decision] a keeper who poisoned 5 buzzards on a pheasant shoot on the border of Tayside and Fife constabulary areas had his Appeal turned down. It was stated by the Court that the police were within their rights to conduct a search of property on the finding of granules on a bait – before any analysis was done, on suspicion alone. Given the history at Glenlochy and the fact that the police were already calling an item “a poisoned bait” – why does no search appear to have taken place – the only way in which enough evidence against an individual could have been gathered?

    In fact, why is this not now being done routinely in such cases?

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