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.
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)