Peregrine & two buzzards found poisoned: police appeal for info

Press release from South Wales Police (Bridgend & Vale of Glamorgan), 29th June 2018:

We are appealing for witnesses after three birds of prey were poisoned.

We are investigating the deaths of a peregrine falcon and two buzzards at Ruthin Quarry in the Vale of Glamorgan. The birds were found dead in the quarry on March 26.

[RPUK map]

A toxicology report confirmed that the birds were killed using a poisoned bait bird which was laced with a banned pesticide.

PC Mark Goulding, wildlife and environmental crime officer, said: “The killing of birds of prey is a serious wildlife offence. Raptor persecution is a National Wildlife Crime priority.

The poisoned birds ingested bait laced with the banned pesticide which was deliberately set out. I would urge anyone who may have witnessed this crime or who has information about this incident to come forward.

Anyone with information on illegal use of pesticides against wildlife can call us on 101 quoting 1800106122 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111“.


The police press release didn’t include any photographs but from what has been described (“using a poisoned bait bird”) and given the location, it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that this crime involved a live pigeon smothered in poison and tethered to a rock so that its helpless flapping attracted predators. This is a well-known barbaric persecution method that has been used for years, especially in Wales and Ireland, by some involved in pigeon racing who want to take out peregrines on the pigeon racing routes (e.g. see here).

Photo of a poison-smeared tethered pigeon at a quarry in Wales in 2012 (photographer unknown)

9 thoughts on “Peregrine & two buzzards found poisoned: police appeal for info”

    1. It happens constantly. Got to be fair to the rotters in this world – give them a head start !!! Bloody sickening.

      1. Sadly, budget cuts enforced upon the Police Service mean that the days of police officers being able to dedicate 100% of their time to wildlife matters. There will be many (if not all) WLOs who have other responsibilities and dealing with the type of crime as described above takes a back seat.

    2. Hirundo08: Presumably they were waiting for the toxicology results for confirmation, but you’re right, it’s still not good enough. If a suspected poisoned bait was found along with three suspected poisoned raptors, the police should at the very least have issued a statement warning about a ‘suspected’ poisoning case, especially when dangerous, highly toxic chemicals might have been used (as confirmed later by the lab in this case).

  1. Let’s face it: the government and the justice system have more in common with the criminals than the conservationists and until that changes wildlife crime will not be taken seriously. I am sick of reading platitudinous waffle from police forces saying that wildlife crime is serious whilst doing remarkably little to prevent it and even less to find the perpetrators and get them prosecuted, only for the CPS / Crown Office to screw up or discard the prosecution or a judge to give out the most minimal sentence they can get away with. It is a war and our wildlife is losing.

  2. The favorite MO of the pigeon men – instead of issuing pointless appeals they should be raiding the local pigeon clubs

  3. This is my neck of the woods, we have no grouse moors but do have pheasant shoots in this area, do we suspect shooters or Pigeon racers? Helpful to know so that I can keep my eyes open when birding. I will also write to SWP asking why it took so long to inform the public.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s