Buzzard shot in Devon

A member of the public found a weak and thin buzzard by the side of the road in Tedburn St Mary, near Exeter, Devon on 20 January 2017.

It was taken to the RSPCA’s West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton where, due to the extent of its injuries, the bird was euthanised.

It appears the buzzard had been hit by a car and suffered extensive soft tissue damage and internal bleeding. However, during a post mortem the vet also discovered the bird had been shot in the foot with an air rifle, causing a swollen foot with restricted movement.

This is the fourth shot buzzard that the RSPCA’s West Hatch centre in Somerset has received this month, following the two shot buzzards from south Wales and the one shot in Somerset (see here).

9 thoughts on “Buzzard shot in Devon”

  1. I think it would be fair to say that the shooting has been the main cause of the bird’s demise. Undoubtedly, it will have been unable to hunt, leading to weakened state that ended with the collision with the car.

    Judging by a recent news story (although the incident happened last year), it would appear that shooters are not only content with targetting wild animals, but young children can be on the receiving end of a head shot from very close range, simply because they might make some noise. Nice people those shooters!

  2. Another one bites the lead.
    And then another one or two will soon enter RPUK’s blog page, won’t they?
    Of course they will, it’s a frequent happening is persecuting raptors.
    How many more to suffer?
    Could there EVER be a time when human beings stop killing raptors?
    Wouldn’t it be nice to see this blog evaporating into thin air because of no more raptor persecution.
    Every gun, including air rifles, should require a licence.
    But even that wouldn’t make a difference because there are a lot of ignorant people out there, people who do have licensed guns, people who are prepared to wreck the lives of protected birds.
    And who cares?
    A minority of people care, people like you and me.
    The majority haven’t a clue what is going on in rural areas, they will never care because it’s unlikely they will ever be aware of such crimes.
    Even the 123K petition signers are a minority in the grand scheme of things.
    And that is the reason that the raptor killers can get away with their crimes; they’re hiding behind the fact that few people will ever know, or care about what they are really getting up to.
    I really don’t know what the answer is.

    1. I agree, Andy, it’s hard to know what the answer is. Most people’s lives don’t include any connection with wildlife at all, unless they buy a blouse with a butterfly pattern. Is it education that has been at fault for years? Should more natural history be included in the national curriculum from the earliest years, but taught with a compassionate understanding, not the friend/foe variety which demonises some species? Where do those teachers come from any time soon? Is it time for wildlife NGOs to up their game and get into schools? Many of them run events on their reserves, but only a tiny handful of children will ever go to one.
      Can care for the natural world become ‘trendy’? Many people will follow ‘celebrity’ fashion, so if a character in a soap opera was, in a quiet, understated way, to be e.g. helping hedgehogs, and was applauded by the other characters – not derided/bullied, maybe more folk would become interested? I don’t watch any soaps, so don’t know any plot lines, so perhaps I’m talking gobbledegook!
      People will decry cruelty to cats/dogs as they are pets, part of our everyday lives. We are an avaricious species in many ways, and maybe pets mean more because we ‘own’ them, they are our personal ‘property’. Wild animals are free living, we cannot control them, they are not ‘ours’, so perhaps they don’t command such a high level of care and consideration.

      1. Some good ideas there Mairi. We make sure that our grandchildren are introduced to the natural environment and all that is in it from an early age. It is such a pity that more is not done in schools to help promote and develop these areas though I do believe there is some movement there and I heartily applaud the efforts of those involved..

    1. One would assume so but, until there is some method of identifying individual ownership of all guns and ammunition and making the registered owner responsible for its usage the police have little to investigate with a random crime like this. Which is not to say that they would give it any priority even if they had the means to enforce the law: as they signally fail to enforce the law against hunting with hounds.

      1. You are right there.
        I accidentally stumbled upon a youtube clip shot just last month in Fife. It showed a fox entering a wood and then a terrier-man guiding the hounds onto the trail of the fox.
        This incident hasn’t to my knowledge been even publicized in the media. The hunt seemed to have no fear at all of being prosecuted even with the public watching and videoing it.

    2. No the RSPCA did not choose to inform the police but released a press statement instead

      PC 1776 MARSHALL

      1. Perhaps they are as fed up as the rest of us with the apathetic approach of the police to wildlife crime and publicity is a better option than letting you lot bury it. It is your force that has recently cautioned a thug who was filmed punching a female hunt saboteur; your force that has cautioned other thugs for similar offences, despite those thugs having existing convictions for ABH and GBH and having spent time in jail: but those assaults weren’t on members of the public trying to uphold the law of the land: something your force has abjectly failed to do: allowing your local hunts to kill foxes with impunity. Essentially, if the polcce were doing there job properly the RSPCA would be redundant.

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