Poisoned peregrine found on Scottish grouse moor

A poisoned peregrine has been found on a grouse moor in Stirlingshire, resulting in a police raid last Friday (20th Feb).

Incredibly, Police Scotland issued a press statement immediately after the raid. The speed of this publicity and their willingness to inform the public about this crime is warmly welcomed.

Here’s what the press release said:

Today Police Scotland executed search warrants on a shooting estate in the Stirling area after a Peregrine Falcon was found to have been poisoned by the banned pesticide Carbofuran.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said:

“In July 2014, a member of the public contacted police to report a dead Red Kite on the same estate. Subsequent investigation revealed this bird was also poisoned with the same banned pesticide. There was no release of information to the general public at this time for operational reasons”.

“It is evident that an ongoing and intentional effort to poison wildlife is occurring at this location and we will be working closely with the relevant partners and using all investigative techniques at our disposal to identify the offender(s) and bring them to justice”.

“We would appeal to anyone who has knowledge of these incidents, or this type of criminality, to contact us and give any information that would assist us. We all have a duty to protect the environment and it is imperative these criminals are caught”.

“Information can be given by contacting 101 or by calling crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Information will be treated in the strictest confidence if required”.


All quite interesting, especially as they have now revealed this poisoned peregrine was found on the same estate where a poisoned red kite was found dead last July. We blogged about that kite here and here, as we wondered why Police Scotland hadn’t publicised this crime and why SNH hadn’t yet enforced a General Licence restriction on this estate. With the discovery of this latest poisoning victim, we’ll be looking closely to see if, and how quickly, SNH now responds.

Peregrine photo: Martin Eager

13 thoughts on “Poisoned peregrine found on Scottish grouse moor”

  1. Compared to the Black Isle the red kite reintroduction near Doune seemed to have got it lucky. Maybe not, don’t think they have expanded quite as well as would have been expected. Would explain a lot if we had at least one estate committed to poisoning here in Stirlingshire. Years ago I spoke to a policeman who lived in a rural village there and when he told the local laird type where he came from got ‘Oh you’re one of those people who drive over my pheasants!’ Maybe the police are getting their act together now with recent criticism and depressing level of persecution. Hope so, they really need to.

  2. Right…poisoned kite with carbofuran found on grouse moor..and no immediate searches on the estate buildings and vehicles carried out [the long proven method of getting results and backed up in law by precedent]…Then a peregrine is poisoned on the same estate [long after complaints by this blog and no doubt others..about lack of response to kite]…and we are to congratulate the police on their press release??….It seems to me..and no doubt to any other readers…that this peregrine’s death could have been prevented by swift actions months before.

    1. We don’t know that the police didn’t do any searches related to the poisoned kite – they may well have done – but as they chose not to publicise that crime, supposedly for “operational purposes”, we simply don’t know.

  3. Sounds like the police might have undeniable evidence on this occasion, pin-pointing an individual or a company. If so, SNH needs to gets its finger out and be seen to be taking a hard line. And the Dept of Agriculture might be able to demand repayment of subsidies on cross compliance breaches. It’s what the killers need before any of them will stop.

  4. Tell me that I have read this and am at fault for not noticing exactly where the poisoned bird was found.
    It was found in Stirlingshire which is a fairly large area.
    The police ask for help from anyone with knowledge etc. in relation to a peregrine found “somewhere”.

    Is it beyond the police to give the location and ask that anyone who saw anything suspicious in that area to get in touch with them.

    1. You’re correct – they didn’t name the estate, and nor did they say when this poisoned peregrine was found. We’re assuming it was this year, but it could actually have been anytime between July 2014 (when the poisoned kite was found) and now.

  5. I reported a dead red kite in “stirlingshire” in april 2013. Had to chase police and eventually was told in autumn, October 2013 that kite had been poisoned by carbofuran. If locations are not revealed, how is the public to know whether these are all on the same estate?

  6. By the very nature of these crimes, it is unlikely that anyone may have information unless they know specifics, in which case they will already know the area. There may also be a reason for police not making this information public. It also does go on to say “…and this kind of criminality…”

    We do need to keep making the authorities aware that we expect action on wildlife offences, but should not be critical when something is done. Lets just hope that due to our pressure, the tide may finally be turning.

  7. If crimes such as assault, mugging, hit and run etc. etc. are committed and the police ask for information they do

    not keep the location a state secret like they do with raptor crimes.

    If the police were conducting raptor persecution investigations, in the way that they are doing, and achieving good

    results then there would be no argument against leaving them to carry on.

    However, they are achieving next to nothing with their current procedures. When anyone keeps repeating the

    same process and keeps getting the same outcome (i.e. failure) it is a good sign that something else needs to be


    I hope that Dr. Aileen is keeping her eyes on this.

  8. If it’s the same estate in ‘Stirlingshire’ that I’m thinking of (used to check these particular birds in my past) then it’s been going on for decades and I agree with Dave, whilst the police are right to publicise ‘immediately’ they should name estates to shame (AFTER searches!), get the intelligence into the public arena, and be harried into operational searches. Otherwise they’ll never find any evidence and no case will ever ensue.

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