Red kite found shot at Leadhills

RK Leadhills 2013A juvenile red kite was found critically injured in the village of Leadhills on 8th August. It’s injuries were so severe the bird had to be euthanised. See here for an SSPCA press release, and well done to them for not only getting this info out in good time but also for saying it how it is – none of this ‘the bird’s death was not by natural causes’ rubbish that we saw Police Scotland put out a few months ago when a shot red kite had been found in Aberdeenshire (see here).

This latest incident will come as no surprise whatsoever to anybody who has been following this blog.

If you’re new to this blog and don’t know what happens to birds of prey at Leadhills, try reading this as a little introduction and for even more info just click on the Leadhills Estate tag and read on.

So, here we are again, reporting yet another crime against a bird of prey at Leadhills. Not to worry though, especially if you happen to be the RSPB Scotland Director – he has recently agreed to hold the 2014 Scottish Birdfair at Hopetoun House, returning for the third consecutive year. For those who don’t know, the Hopetoun family own Leadhills Estate and some of them live in Hopetoun House. The Earl of Hopetoun also happens to serve on the Board of Directors at Scottish Land & Estates.

Needless to say, we’ll be blogging some more in due course about the RSPB’s decision to return to Hopetoun House, and we still need to blog about the Leadhills Estate Game Book that has found its way into our hands. We’ve also got some other stuff about Leadhills to talk about…it’s just a question of finding the time…

More soon….

18 thoughts on “Red kite found shot at Leadhills”

  1. I find it amazing (and very sad) that this is happening again and nothing seems to come of it. The current penalties are obviously no deterrent what so ever. What will it take to stop these birds being killed?

  2. Leadhills ………….. there’s a surprise !!

    Good on the SSPCA for getting this publicised with a call for help.

    Seems to me that it would help if anyone with information about wildlife crime would tell the SSPCA (RSPCA in England) even if a report has been made to the police.

  3. I cancelled my stand at this years Scottish Bird Fair because of the Leadhills persecution history and would encourage anyone else to do the same for the 2014 Fair. How the RSPB continues to use this venue defies belief!

    [Ed: good for you, Keith Brockie – someone prepared to put his money where his mouth is]

  4. It is a said state of affairs that I and many others, now consider the SSPCA are better equipped to sort out wild crime and deal with wildlife criminals that Police Scotland, who are far too PC for my liking.

    1. Chris, it does amaze me that some folks will pull people up for minor typographical errors, yet at the same time they will turn a blind eye to serious and widespread criminal actions from their own kind.

  5. Now, I’m quite sure that the Red Kite does not offer any threat to Red Grouse, yet here we have another likely example of a raptor being illegally killed by those involved in the game industry. More proof that gamekeepers will target anything with a hooked beak? More proof that they blatantly refuse to change their ways? It would seem so.

    The RSPB should be ashamed to have any connection to this estate and its killing grounds, and I truly wonder what their highly regarded investigations teams think about this decision to hold the Birdfair at Hopetoun. Three years now – three years of turning a blind eye to prolonged raptor persecution, three years of pandering to criminals and the landed gentry, three years of ignoring volunteers, members and supporters.

    But don’t worry – if we all put a Hedgehog home in our gardens, everything will turn out fine!

    1. Mr McGinty..what I saw over many years of “monitoring” shooting/blootering estates was that they were terrified if any rare, unusual or iconic birds turned up on their land – as this would attract birdwatchers [who might find illegal traps, poison etc..]…hence the occasional shot osprey, red kite or eagle. …but hey, arent managed grouse moors good for biodiversity??! hell…

      1. Aye, they’re an absolute disgrace to the country, but unless the government and the RSPB start to take this seriously, then we will have to face many more years of the same.

        And yes, the whole line about grouse moors being good for biodiversity sits right alongside the Iraq/WMD issue in terms of lies and deceit.

  6. Unbelievable that RSPB Scotland have decided to hold their bird fair at Hopetoun again. It should be boycotted by all right thinking bird lovers

  7. Myself and some of my friends have boycotted the Birdfair from the very start and we are all RSPB members and would love to attend it but wont because of where it is held. I’m sure there must be lots of like minded people, so surely the RSPB would make more money if it moved to another site. Then stallholders might also make a profit. Win, win for all concerned except Hopetoun House. Well done to the SSPCA for speaking out about this crime.

    1. I am an RSPB member and whilst I do not intend cancelling my subscription I cannot fathom why they are persisting with the bird fair at Hopetoun. Furthermore, I believe that the RSPB have failed to explain themselves in this respect.

  8. What incentive is there for people to stop persecuting Raptors at Leadhills, or anywhere else for that matter when the RSPB appear to condone it year after year by holding the annual Bird Fair at Hopetoun House. Surely there’s more to this than meets the eye ?

    [Ed: Nirofo, had to edit your comment slightly. You’ll understand why!]

  9. What an embarrassment this area must be to Scottish Government. So many wildlife crimes and how many convictions? As we keep saying at Project Raptor, It is way past time Scottish Government wakes up, smells the Carbofuran and stops wasting time and resources sending out misleading statements declaring that they are on top of this issue and acting tough on wildlife crime. Stop and search vehicles that operate in this area. It happens everywhere else where there is a high level of crime. We would say, with all the wildlife that is being illegally killed in the area (wildlife which is supposed to be protected by law), as well as evidence suggesting that these crimes are increasing, the police have enough reasonable suspicion to act. Who knows what they may find tucked away inside the vehicles? When finally we see a conviction then a custodial sentence is the only sentence that these people may understand. Only recently one of the alleged crimes discovered on Leadhills Estate, involving poison, not only put the lives of wildlife at risk, but also the alleged criminal’s actions could have potentially killed a person. These people are clearly out of control and their community should be outraged by their sickening and reckless behaviour, which can only have a detrimental effect on local tourism and damage the reputation of this area.

    Forensic tests related to a serious alleged wildlife related crime that took place on the grouse moors of Leadhills Estate on March 8th 2013 have taken months to return any results. Meanwhile wildlife continues to be illegally slaughtered in the area. Tough on wildlife crime?

    Scottish Government, when you have finished with your rhetoric, there are raptors out their desperate for your protection.

    [Ed: Thanks Project Raptor – had to edit slightly – you’ll understand why!]

  10. Why not book the Leadhills Village Hall and hold a Raptor Fair at the same time as the bird fair….or better still right at the start of the breeding season. Swamp the place with eyes.

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