Devon & Cornwall Police continue their impressive proactive stance against wildlife crime by today issuing a press release to warn the general public to be on the look out for poisoned birds and poisoned baits.
The alert has been issued to the local community in an area with a history of raptor poisoning, including previous attempts to poison peregrines. The public have been warned about the potentially fatal consequences of coming in to contact with the poisons used, and have been reassured that regular police patrols will be undertaken in the area.
We don’t see enough of this sort of proactive approach (although last year West Yorkshire Police did send out a public warning after poisoned bait was discovered – see here, as did Northern Constabulary, see here).
Once again, Police Wildlife Crime Officer PC Josh Marshall deserves huge plaudits for his efforts. Earlier this year Josh was behind a scheme to attach covert cameras at vulnerable raptor nest sites that resulted in catching two men disturbing a peregrine site within 48 hours of installing the equipment (see here). Somebody needs to get him and his enlightened bosses up to Scotland to provide training workshops for every single police force.
See here for the police poisoning alert.
2 thoughts on “Devon & Cornwall police issue bird poisoning alert”
There are certain areas in Scotland which have, over the years, become a serious cause for concern when it comes to the persecution of raptors. These locations have been the scenes for countless poisoning incidents of birds of prey and when we hear of another tragedy of a raptor being found poisoned or shot, nobody who monitors these incidents, including I’m sure the police, are surprised when they discover where the crime has taken place. Surely it must be the time now that those authorities who have been set up to protect wildlife from the criminals should consider launching a public awareness scheme at site.
The highly toxic and deadly poison, Carbofuran, can not only cause unimaginable suffering to an animal, almost always resulting in death, but if ingested by a human being, especially children, may actually kill them. This is a poison, a favourite amongst the wildlife criminals, that I witnessed being used as bait on a dead rabbit and placed on a hill in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. The bait was within a ten minute walk from a public caravan park and when you consider that in Scotland, access to private land is legal then you can begin to understand the seriousness of this problem even more.
Nobody would want to scare walkers off and so may be a sign, strategically placed on trees, fences or in the town/village high street or even the lobby of hotels and boarding houses, which simply warns walkers that wildlife crime could be occurring in the area and for them to report anything that they find which they consider may be connected to a wildlife crime incident. Also, the ‘wildlife crime card’ which PAWS have developed could be sent out to boarding houses and hotels around the ‘hotspot’ areas and adverts could be posted in local community papers; again making people aware of wildlife crime and where to report it to if they come across an incident. These simple and relatively cheap ideas are of course not the ultimate solution to the problem, but we must make more of an effort to make those people who walk the countryside more aware of the potential threat to wildlife here in Scotland and what they can do to help.
Is an updated guide for people walking, hiking or jogging in the countryside and what to do if they come across traps. I hope that it complements the information guide on traps by Raptor Persecution Scotland. The OneKind 2012 guide includes a trap which is worryingly becoming more common to find in the countryside and will alarm many when it is known that these traps are being found in areas where raptors are also present. Disturbingly, these traps have also been discovered only yards away from the remains of raptors.