4th raptor poisoning in south Scotland this year

From BBC News (2 May 2018):


A police investigation has started following the discovery of three dead red kites in Dumfries and Galloway.

Tests have confirmed that two of the birds were illegally poisoned with examinations ongoing on the third.

It takes the number of birds killed by illegal pesticides in the region since the start of the year to four.

Police said the use of poisoned bait was “illegal and totally unacceptable” and could have “devastating consequences” for wildlife.

[Photo by David Bowman]

The incidents in the region since the start of the year are:

  • a red kite discovered poisoned in Kirkpatrick Durham in January
  • a buzzard found dead in Mossdale in March
  • a second red kite killed at a separate location in Kirkpatrick Durham in April
  • another red kite poisoned in April at Old Bridge of Urr
  • a further red kite death with the cause yet to be established at Gelston in April

Specialist Wildlife Crime Officer PC Alan Steel said police were working closely with SAC Consulting and Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) to investigate the cases.

What we have established is that illegal pesticides have been used to kill four of the birds,” he said.

The pesticides identified have been banned in the UK for many years, but despite this there would still appear to be those who leave out poisoned bait, whether that is to target crows, foxes, raptors or other wildlife.

The use of such poisoned bait is illegal and totally unacceptable and those responsible should understand that their unlawful activities not only serve to have devastating consequences on their intended targets but also on various other forms of wildlife.”

He said they were “absolutely determined” to put a stop to the killings and find the people responsible.

They are working with a number of landowners and farmers and liaising with RSPB Scotland as part of the investigation.

We have also carried out a number of land searches in the vicinity of where the birds have been located with a view of trying to locate poisoned bait at these locations,” he added.

It is anticipated that further land searches will take place in the near future.”

A red kite trail in the region is reckoned to be worth millions of pounds to the local economy.

A study last year said the Galloway Kite Trail had generated more than £8.2m since it was launched in 2003.


10 thoughts on “4th raptor poisoning in south Scotland this year”

  1. This could explain why I haven’t seen the wonderful sight of 3, 4 or more Kites circling above recently as I pass by this area. Bastards !

  2. I was going to report how Oxfordshire and Berkshire have such a good population of Kites now since the reintroduction, and how I had not heard of any reports of persecution, but thought I had better Google it to make sure, ( having only relatively recently being following this blog), and I find that 4 kites, a raven and a buzzard where found last sept in Pyrton Ox, reported in December, and sent for toxicology. Does anyone know the result? Also Shotgun injuries found near Crowmarsh Gifford, Ox.

  3. I live locally and have contacted both RSPB and the Specialist Wildlife Crime Officer to see how the public can be pro-active in this alarming escalation. I don’t want to see our region suddenly achieve “Black Isle status”!

  4. How sad to hear that this type of behaviour has now appeared in Dumfries & Galloway. We cannot blame driven grouse moors for being close at hand in this area so obviously land managers and their employees have their own agenda.

  5. These scum responsible appear to have an unending supply of this poison that was banned nearly 20 years ago now

  6. There’s a quick way of sorting this persistent crime, ban all shooting in a 50 mile radius of any suspected crime for the forthcoming season, the bastard’s will soon stop. In Malta, a country we regard as abhorrent for wildlife crime this practice is used, I am sure if this can be done in Malta it can be done in this country. Another 2 fingers stuck up at the law abiding community and aimed at the spineless Politicians who will not react against the Untouchables

  7. Used to see Red Kites to the South West of Perth in the Findo Gask / Dupplin area, but have not seen one for years.

  8. What is going on in Castle Douglas that is prompting this? It cannot be a coincidence that these are all centred on it?

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