Poisoned buzzard, next to poisoned bait: circumstances ‘inconclusive’ says Derbyshire Constabulary!

I don’t know what’s going on at Derbyshire Constabulary’s Rural Crime Team but someone needs to check that Amanda Anderson isn’t moonlighting.

You may recall a couple of weeks ago we blogged about an illegally poisoned buzzard that had been found dead in the Peak District National Park, next to an illegal poisoned bait (see here). The focus of the blog was the long delay from discovery (April 2019) to publicity (Jan 2020) and even then the publicity had come from the RSPB, not from the police.

[The illegally poisoned buzzard. Photo by Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group]

The story doesn’t end there.

On Friday (14th Feb), the following post appeared on Derbyshire Constabulary’s Rural Crime Team’s Facebook page:

Er….right oh.

The Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group has called out this nonsense with another blog and an open letter of complaint to the Derbyshire Police & Crime Commissioner – read it here.

Of particular note, this official toxicology report on the buzzard and the poisoned bait, written by Dr Ed Blane (National Coordinator for the independent Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme, HM Inspector Health & Safety Executive) who writes:

“…..The evidence therefore suggests that the Buzzard died as the result of the deliberate and illegal use of a high concentration of chloralose on a partridge bait, rather than through secondary poisoning from a different legally applied source…..

And yet Derbyshire Constabulary’s Rural Crime Team claims “There are too many unknown variables to conclusively say that the buzzard has been poisoned deliberately“.

And guess who’ll be using that ‘official police statement’ to play down the ongoing problem of illegal raptor persecution in the Peak District National Park?

Supt Nick Lyall – you need to be looking at this with some urgency.

UPDATE 23 February 2020: Derbyshire Police respond to criticism over poisoned buzzard investigation (here)

33 thoughts on “Poisoned buzzard, next to poisoned bait: circumstances ‘inconclusive’ says Derbyshire Constabulary!”

  1. That statement is in stark contrast to Hardyal Dhindsa’s speech at the 2019 HH day. Seems to me he’d make a good politician.

    1. In fact, I’m surprised that the open letter didn’t mention this fact and that he spoke in front of a few thousand witnesses. Does he take us all for idiots or is it that he is simply not in control.

  2. Well for the sake of taking small children walking in the PDNP, it is probably less worrying if the poison came from a dead partridge than some other unknown source. That the police seem incapable of putting 2 and 2 together just instills confidence. So the argument is 1) that there are dead baits lying around laced with Chloralose, 2) that there are potentially several other unknown sources of chloralose, 3) that the public should have confidence in their ability to protect small children from irresponsible idiots.

    Why don’t they just “get the job done” and stick these criminals in prison before someone dies.

  3. so the message has to be that anyone wanting to kill raptors in Derbyshire region should use poisons as the police won’t bother following up

  4. The Keystone cops were funny – this bunch of jokers aren’t. It is difficult to believe that the ‘statement’ issued by the so called ‘Rural Crime Team’ has not led to the disbandment or restructuring of this group who seem to be operating with a completely agenda.

  5. On their FB page Staffordshire Hunt Saboteurs; report of 7 January mentions Derbyshire Police’s Operation Trek which apparently gathers information on lawful protesters. Presumably to stop them being unnecessarily harassed (if only!). General consensus in comments suggests Derbyshire Police aren’t always impartial or on the side of those trying to ensure laws are upheld. And the PCC’s office said they didn’t get involved in operational matters so I’m surprised he met with the PDRMG.

  6. Can’t understand their logic. Are they saying that it can’t have been deliberate poisoning because it wasn’t near a game-shoot? That is a pretty revealing statement if i have that right.
    If not what else is different in this case from all the other poisoning incidents which are accepted as deliberate.

    1. Stick who exactly in prison, or just anyone you don’t like?
      No, it doesn’t say that at all, unless you twist the words to suit your agenda. It says “There are too many unknown variables to conclusively say that the buzzard has been poisoned deliberately”

      1. Your post makes no sense whatsoever, given the initial comment made no mention of prison. Plus, it shouldn’t matter whether the buzzard was ‘deliberately’ poisoned or not, because illegal bait was set which resulted in its death; their illegal actions directly caused protected wildlife to die. The statement you quoted is pure equivocation and just an excuse not to investigate properly.

      2. First of all i never mentioned prison because as you quite rightly point out the criminals are too cunning, too experienced at it and too protected by their bosses and the shooting establishment to get caught.
        Secondly please tell us what those ‘unknown variables’ are and in what way they are different from the countless other crimes logged as crimes without caveats?

  7. “too many unknown variables”

    That is like the Donald Rumsfeld classic:-
    “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

    The tragedy is that the situation is really very serious.

    1. It would if a child fell ill from ingesting alpha -chloralose there would be an huge public outcry, a very small amount would be enough.

  8. Move along, nothing to see here – just uplands plastered with poisoned baits and traps !

    This is why I stopped visiting any area that has Driven Grouse Shooting long ago.
    Losing tourist money from the uplands might persuade more local opposition to such land use.
    Spread the word – public, please spend your money elsewhere.

    Keep up the pressure !

    1. Sadly I suspect those engaged with criminal acts would be pleased if tourism ceased in areas where they operate. It would give the an even more unassailable carte blanche to continue eradication to achieving extinction of many raptor species and any other species which competes with their ‘sport’.

      We need politicians with integrity and principle prepared to uphold and strengthen the law and the more folk walking and watching the better chance that someone in power will realise that they need to review the poor police performances;)

      1. We need people to go out on to the moors and in the woods to monitor, record and, where necessary, report potentially illegal traps, snares, stink pits, poisoned baits, burns, drains, tracks etc etc. Exposing the atrocities of these vile organisations and the vile people they employ will help put an end to these crimes.

        The National Anti Snaring Campaign and, I believe, the League Against Cruel Sports provide free training about the legalities of traps and snares.

        Get yourselves educated and get yourselves out on those moors and in those woods!

  9. Derbyshire Constabulary take all crimes seriously. Except wildlife crime. Especially surrounding game bird shooting!

  10. Atrocious by the police, no wonder the PDRMG are fuming this isn’t just a police fudge it is bending over backwards to ground level to claim this bird was not poisoned deliberately by the partridge bait. Dear god what do the police want a pre-crime phone call so they can arrive as the bait is placed and a confession it was meant for that Buzzard. FFS time the police in Derbyshire woke up smelt the coffee and stopped pandering to the countryside set. Poison baits by there very nature are indiscriminate (AND ILLEGAL) we nor the police know whether this was placed for predatory/scavenging birds or mammals but it matters not . Even if the bird killed was on the general licence , Which it is not, this would still be a crime as it is a prescribed highly illegal method of killing .

  11. That FB post from the Rural Crime team sounds like a two fingered salute following the meeting with the PCC

  12. “…..The evidence therefore suggests that the Buzzard died as the result of the deliberate and illegal use of a high concentration of chloralose on a partridge bait, rather than through secondary poisoning from a different legally applied source…..”

    I suppose there are so many poison-baited partridges in the same area that the Rural Crime Team could not be sure that the one close to the carcass was responsible for the death of the bird? It is highly unlikely that a buzzard would be subject to secondary poisoning from a different legally (….falls over laughing rather cynically…..) applied source. Someone remind me just what the legal sources leading to raptor poisoning are please.

    Come on – we all know what sort of stuff is going on in the Peak District National Park. Who is trying to cover up for who here? (I don’t expect any of the blog readers to answer as it is stating the bleeding obvious).

  13. The Peak District never changes does it. Maybe an investigation into the Police; Peak National Park; and certain wealthy landowners who are members of the Freemasons might shed some light on the current situation. A similar regime exists here in Norfolk.

  14. I am afraid we might have to adjust to the new power structure in place since the last election. We all know how it works .. if Government employees do not follow the (hidden) guidelines then they get replaced thus effectively ending any career prospects. They put the, the Government employees, in an invidious position.
    Actively renew and intensify efforts to catch these criminals on film and .. knowing fine well any complaint to the authority will get purposely bogged down in the legal process … put them on popular viewing portals for all to see. This would be far more effective than simply reporting them once to a minority audience which is soon forgotten as the next case takes the spotlight. Build a larger base until the opportunity presents itself to strike more telling blows.

  15. It seems odd that the burden of proof required for securing a conviction in court (beyond reasonable doubt) is much lower than that used by this police force for deciding whether or not a crime has been committed (conclusive).

    I suppose though if you set a very high burden of proof when determining whether or not a crime has been committed it will make your clear up rate look good.

    In any event whether or not the buzzard was deliberately poisoned there’s still the little matter of a poisoned bait having been left lying about. Is that in itself not a crime known to the law of England?

  16. From all of this, I have come to the conclusion that public servants should even have their visits to the toilet recorded and all recordings and data generated should be made freely available in the public domain. It’s all those instances of privileged access to our public servants by lobby and interest groups, or even influential individuals, where conversations had, lead to the decisions that affect how the police budget is managed.

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