Further statement from Glanusk Estate re: mass raptor poisoning

Following on from yesterday’s blog about the Glanusk Estate statement on the illegal mass poisoning of raptors on their land (here), the Glanusk Estate trustees have issued a further statement:

Further Glanusk statement

A couple of things jumped out at us:

The incident involves a third party to Glanusk Estate and is nothing to do with the Management Team or the owners of the Estate“.

Clearly, the owners and Management Team were not directly responsible for setting out poisoned baits, or for picking up poisoned raptors and hiding them inside feed sacks next to a pheasant pen. That was the criminal action of a ‘third party’. But it’s irresponsible for the Management Team and owners of the Estate to claim ‘it is nothing to do with us’. It’s their responsibility, and theirs alone, to, er, ‘manage’ what happens on their Estate.

The question is, do the owners and Management Team know who that ‘third party’ was and if so, what action have they taken against that ‘third party’? Is the ‘third party’ still involved at Glanusk Estate? What measures, if any, have Glanusk Estate put in place to ensure the poisoning is not repeated? They say they have asked their visitors, tenants and friends to be vigilant, but is that enough? This mass poisoning took place over the period of a whole year and apparently nobody saw anything suspicious (!) so asking people to be vigilant is a start but hopefully it isn’t the Management Team’s only course of action!

The Welsh Government and the Dyfed Powys Police confirmed at the time that there was no risk to public health“.

Really? If that’s true, it would be an extraordinary statement for the Welsh Government & Dyfed Powys Police to make. According to the World Health Organisation, Bendiocarb (the poison that was used for these mass raptor killings) is listed as Class II for acute toxicity, indicating that it is moderately hazardous to humans if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Symptoms of Bendiocarb poisoning in humans are weakness, blurred vision, headache, nausea, abdominal cramps, low blood pressure, muscle tremours, uncoordination and heart irregularities. Death can result from discontinued breathing, paralysis of muscles of the respiratory system and/or intense constriction of the openings of the lungs. But don’t worry, the Welsh Government and Dyfed Powys Police said there was “no risk to public health”.

We’ll be blogging more about the Welsh Government’s role in this case shortly…..

36 thoughts on “Further statement from Glanusk Estate re: mass raptor poisoning”

  1. Tetchy, ain’t they. They don’t like the great unwashed masses questioning them, that is for sure. Someone may have struck a nerve with something.

  2. Is it acceptable/advisable to keep up the pressure on their facebook/twitter pages? I have been doing but wonder if others will help and whether or not this tactic helps us. I am trying to avoid saying anything libelous and I do have the time to do so,which I appreciate not everyone else has. But it would be useful to know hat others think.

    1. It might be time to create internal pressure groups inside the organisations which are supposed to pursue these issues e.g SNH, NE, RSPB etc., etc. Power beginning to assert itself from the bottom up seems to be the trend in many areas and countries today … thanks to the social media. Why should this be any different? Looking for common ground and movement on both sides has obviously failed in the recent past. Time to push on, in my opinion.

  3. I can’t wait to hear what the Welsh Government and Dyfed-Powys Police actually said at the time regarding risks to public health, RPUK.

  4. From the statement it strikes me that they probably know the “third Party”! In that that case they can sue the third party for the damage that they have done to the estates un-flawed reputation……. no harm can possibly come for getting the truth out into the open…. can it?

    1. I’ve posed that question to Glanusk Estate, Circusmaxim, along with asking if this ‘third party’ still has access to the estate.

  5. Gosh, when it was swept under the carpet they really hoped that no-one would ever look and find it, didn’t they? Well done yet again RPUK, I still feel that this has a way to run, a few red faces to expose and a few more organisations to be further discredited!

  6. Their estate, they should be liable for any criminal activity taking place on it, which is not directed against the estate – unless they can prove that they took all reasonable precautions to prevent it. They should certainly be responsible for the actions of any third party they have allowed or contracted to work on their land.

  7. The issue of the danger of these poisons, used in a casual manner and left unattended where any passerby, child or pet animal could touch them and become seriously ill or even killed, has repeatedly been ignored by our courts, police forces, governments and other authorities. This goes beyond any “normal” health and safety issue – when you see the uproar in the countryside caused by a single case of birdflu..and yet this goes on again and again all around us..Why??

  8. From a health and safety point of view, the obvious thing to do would have been to put out notices warning people that some moron has left out pieces of poisonous meat and that if anyone comes across any not to touch them as the poison can be absorbed through skin. cracking work again RPUK and again to the RSPB investigations department, shameful that organised crime is still prevalent in our countryside and that statuary bodies concerned and paid for by tax payers money are still turning a blind eye and failing in their duties to protect the general public from these morons

    1. No, I believe it is the private enterprise, based in the Cayman Islands and owned by a sympathetic billionaire as a tax write off. Thats why we all get $50 for every time we criticise the GWCT. How much have you made?

  9. It’s an astonishingly badly written statement and disingenuous to put it mildly.. Well done RPUK. Keep going!

  10. Hmm, I am not persuaded.

    The poisoned bait would have been put out by gamekeepers ? The poisoned raptors would have been collected by gamekeepers…. yes/no ? So, are gamekeepers the ‘third party’ ? were they employed by the estate ? were they instructed by the estate or ‘management team’ ? or were they yet more of the ‘rogue few’ that the industry keeps on telling us? The denials are simply not believable I’m afraid.

    The issue of a deadly poison being wantonly spread around is distinctly worrying. The estate alleges that it knew nothing about this, so how could they possibly know where the poisons were spread, and if more have been spread more recently….. how strong is their raptor population today?

    A point leading on from that, is, does the estate have full insurance cover for a poison littered estate? More pertinently, is the Green Man festival covered for its participants being poisoned ? Something they, and anyone else thinking of attending anything on that estate ought to consider quite carefully !

    Nobody was convicted, BUT, a crime did take place, and there is/are still guilty party (s) out there!

  11. Few people have as much experience as Dave Dick, a widely respected former RSPB Investigations Officer. It is interesting that even he has to ask the question regarding the lax approach to health and safety. I agree that it is very difficult to fathom, and tempting to go down the road of some sort of Establishment ‘conspiracy theory.’ Can anyone think of any legitimate or straightforward explanation?

    As usual, RPUK has thoroughly deconstructed this further attempt at deliberate obfuscation by Glenusk Estate, however it’s worth emphasising a couple of points. The Glenusk statement that “nobody was convicted” is obviously meaningless, so just exactly what point were they attempting to convey? Lots of crimes go unconvicted due to lack of evidence. Apparently the incident, for which nobody was convicted, “involved a third party.” Surely these are contradictory statements? Presumably if they can categorically state that a third party was involved in the incident, they must know the identity of the said third party? It might have been more convincing had they indicated in what capacity that third party was active within their estate. Were they, for example, a sub-contracted ‘pest controller’? That could be casually described as a third party, but the estate would still carry some responsibility for not exercising due care in employing such a person (or persons).

    In any case, how can a company involved in commercial pheasant shooting claim to observe “the highest standards of animal welfare and general habitat wellbeing”? The cruelty involved in rearing pheasants for game shooting is well known – does Glenusk Estate source their birds from an RSPCA- assured pheasant factory? Do they care sufficiently about animal welfare that they manage their estate without harming any predators such as foxes, mustelids or crows? And how do they avoid the ecological damage to habitats and species by releasing excessive numbers of non-native pheasants onto the land?

  12. No risk to the public……………! There most certainly was.

    Placing a highly poisonous bait unsupervised in a public place obviously causes risk.

    It’s the dead raptors and Ravens that cause the most serious risk of injury to the public. Any person and in particular children are likely to handle the birds if they find them. The carcasses would have been contaminated with poisonous material round the beak, talons and on bodily fluids.

    These chemicals can be absorbed through the skin.

    How can it be concluded that there was NO risk to the public.

    The estate at best doesn’t understand the risks involved or are deliberately attempting to play down the seriousness of this incident.

    There was also risk to companion animals and other wildlife.

    1. Try the latter, Calm Summer. The estate stands to lose a shed full of money should event organisers get the heeby jeebies and cancel, so they must play the risks down! No ‘at best’ about it!

      1. From what I know the main Glanusk Site of which the greenman was held, was managed by the estates own keeper. not the “third party” driven shoot which controls the surrounding area

        1. Is it possible for a poisoned bird to fly for a distance, before collapsing and dying ? perhaps within the Green Man site ? Personally, I would not take the risk to children or my dog.

          1. Yeah its possible for the bird to fly over and die in the main site, The focus needs to be on the perpetrators and not trying to make it a class issue. The fact a sack of carcasses found in a feed bag by a pheasant pen tells you who is at fault

            1. If one accepts that it is a “third party” and not anyone directly in the employ of Glanusk estate then, in the 3 or 4 years since the poisonings, has the same third party shoot been ejected from the estate lands or not? Are they still running their shoot on Glanusk land? Simple question which, if answered, may show Glanusk’s owners true colours.

  13. I’ve just had a response from Dyfed-Powys Police;

    ‘Dear Mr Clarke,

    Thank you for your e-mail dated the 1st July 2016.

    I have read the content of the blog at the link you provided.

    You are already aware of the Dyfed Powys Police statement which reads,
    “Dyfed Powys Police take allegations of wildlife crime very seriously and investigates all incidents reported to us. Following information received in 2012 and 2013, relating to the deaths of raptors in Powys, a full investigation was carried out in partnership with the RSPB, the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the Wildlife Management Team in the Welsh Government. During the investigation a number of search warrants under the Wildlife and Countryside Act were executed and two people were arrested in connection with the incidents. A file of evidence was subsequently submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service who advised that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution.”

    As the CPS deemed that there was not enough evidence to proceed with a prosecution in the above investigation and because of this, we have not confirmed the specific location of the area which was under investigation. However, when investigating any incident or when consulted in the planning of an event, any known issues regarding public health and safety for a specific site would be brought to the attention of the relevant authorities and organisations concerned.

    Kind regards

    Matthew Howells PS 974
    Datblygu Bro/Neighbourhood Development
    e-bost/e-mail: matthew.howells@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk

    As i’m assuming Green Man festival might be classed as one of the relevant organisations I responded;

    ‘Hi. Are you saying Green Man Festival were informed of the poisoning incidents? I have contacted them and they have said they they were not. Please could you clarify?’.

    I await a response.

  14. And here is the answer;

    ‘Mr Clarke, as the information below states we have not confirmed the location of the investigation. I am therefore unable to answer your question.


    Matthew Howells PS 974’

  15. So I’ve written back to Green Man and asked for clarification as to whether or not they have received any warnings for Dyfed-Powys Police.

  16. Just a thought: Glanusk Estate have confirmed that they were the poisoning site, yet Dyfed-Powys Police will not. Is that a tenable position?

  17. Yet another example of the Police withholding the location of a crime on the basis that no prosecution was achieved. Why is this the case in these instances? Is there something about wildlife crime that makes it different from any other crime? If a human body had been found on the estate the location would be all over the news media in minutes, or even a post office robbery or an assault in a night cub. Have we ever switched on the BBC News to be told that a bank robbery had been conducted “in an unknown bank in an undisclosed town in the UK”? Can anyone explain this rather obvious anomaly?

  18. I know the Estate well and have had the misfortune to deal with them on several occasions, they will never accept responsibility for any wrong doing. I cannot see how they can say the poisoning did not take place on the festival ground as the car parks run alongside several of their largest pheasant pens and one of the drives is a few hundred yards from the luxury camping section. Also, when they say they take animal welfare very seriously you should ask them how many complaints they received about the sheep on the estate this winter, or possibly the racehorse that was starved to death by one of their farm tenants. It is shocking the number of welfare issues that occur on that Estate and even more shocking that no one will prosecute so keep up the good work and the pressure.

  19. I’m beginning to wonder whether the CPS ever says “yes” to charging someone who is believed to have broken the law pertaining to raptor persecution. If they are happy not to charge someone who has admitted guilt and been filmed committing the crime there seems little hope for getting them to say “yes” to a possible charge in a case like Glenusk with its obvious ‘high connections’.

    On another matter concerning a previous RPUK blog, I noticed ‘cirsusmaxim’ referring to what he called the ‘Hopeless Owl Trust’. As president of the World Owl Trust I would be grateful if he could clarify here that he didn’t mean us – we are more than busy doing what we can to ensure that Bowland’s once superb array of raptors and owls don’t join the Dodo and Great Auk! Nor is it the World Owl Trust who are ‘for’ the Hen Harrier brood manipulation fiasco.

    1. I think it was fairly clear circusmaxim was referring to the Hawk & Owl Trust, but I suppose there’s no harm in clarifying that possible misconception.

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