This is beyond what is tolerable.
Police Scotland have issued the following statement this evening:
Appeal to trace golden eagle in Aberdeenshire
Officers are appealing for information to help locate a Golden eagle which was seen flying in the Crathie area of Deeside with what appears to be a trap attached to its leg.
Concerns were raised about the first-year eagle on Thursday August 8, 2019, by a tourist and there are serious concerns for the bird’s welfare. Enquiries are ongoing in conjunction with our partner agencies including the RSPB.
Sergeant Kim Wood said: “We would encourage anyone who has information which could help to locate this eagle to contact the Police on 101 or another relevant authority as soon as possible.”
The photograph of this eagle has re-ignited a fury that’s been gathering strength for several months.
It began with the suspicious disappearance of two of our satellite-tagged golden eagles, Adam and Charlie, who vanished on the same April morning, on the same grouse moor, within a few hours of one another.
A short time later we learned that an RSPB-satellite-tagged hen harrier had been found dead on a nearby grouse moor with its leg gripped by an illegal trap.
A few weeks later we learned of another hen harrier caught in an illegally-set spring trap. This time it was a breeding male and the trap had been set by his nest. He was still alive when raptor workers found him but in great distress. His trapped leg was almost severed. A specialist wildlife vet from the SSPCA did his very best to save this bird, but unfortunately the harrier’s injuries were just too severe and he didn’t make it. A second trap was found actually in the harrier’s nest, placed next to two eggs. There was no sign of the breeding female.
The Scottish Government’s response to these horrendous crimes? Absolute silence for weeks, and then acting under huge public pressure, a pathetic statement that said ‘We’ve got to wait for the Werritty Review‘ – that’s the report on grouse moor management that we’ve been waiting for since May 2017.
And now this. A young golden eagle flying around with an illegal trap clamped to its leg. It’s quite likely this eagle is already dead.
I’m sorry, Nicola Sturgeon, Roseanna Cunningham and Mairi Gougeon, as much as I admire you as strong, intelligent female politicians, I am no longer prepared to make excuses for you. It is your collective failure to act decisively that has led to these continuing atrocities.
If any blog readers share this sense of fury and exasperation, now is the time to act. Here are two things you can do:
- Send an email to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and let her know, clearly but politely, that as the leader of the Scottish Government she needs to step up, show some leadership and take immediate action. Please send your emails to: FirstMinister@gov.scot
- Sign this new petition (launched tonight by Wild Justice) calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting – see here.