Shot buzzard found injured near Shipton, North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information following the discovery of a shot buzzard found injured on 29 March 2020.

North Yorkshire Police press release (8 April 2020):

Appeal for information after buzzard found shot near Shipton, York.

Injured buzzard x-rayed and found to contain pieces of shot

[Photos via North Yorkshire Police]

North Yorkshire Police and the RSPCA are appealing for information after a buzzard was found injured near Shipton Grange close to Shipton-by-Beningbrough, York on 29 March 2020.

The buzzard, a male, was found by a local farmer who called the RSPCA and the charity’s Inspector Claire Mitchell collected the bird.

Claire said: “The farmer didn’t know the bird had been shot, but he wasn’t flying so the farmer knew there was something seriously wrong with him.

He was a big healthy bird otherwise, and still quite feisty.

I took him to a local vet for treatment and x-rays, and that’s when they discovered the shot.”

X-rays showed the bird contained five pieces of shot, two in a foot, one in a leg and two in a wing. The bird is now recovering well in the care of a local wildlife rehabilitator and will be released into the wild once ready.

North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force Inspector, Matt Hagen, said:

This is yet another despicable act of someone deliberately injuring a bird of prey in our county. I would urge anyone who has any information about this incident or might have seen anything which could help our investigation to please get in touch with us on 101.

North Yorkshire should be a haven for wildlife and we will do everything in our power to ensure we deal with the individuals who target our birds of prey in this way.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting reference number: 12200052238 or the RSPCA appeal line 0300 1238018 and ask to leave a message for Claire.


Well done, North Yorkshire Police. This is a fast and detailed response with good illustrative photographs, and it needs to be. The illegal persecution of birds of prey in North Yorkshire is relentless.

Recently North Yorkshire Police have recorded reports of a shot kestrel (here), a shot buzzard (here), another shot buzzard (here), a shot hen harrier (here), another shot kestrel (here), a poisoned red kite (here), a shot marsh harrier (here), another shot hen harrier (here), another shot buzzard (here), another shot hen harrier (here), another poisoned red kite (here), another shot hen harrier (here) and another red kite that was both poisoned and shot (here). This list isn’t exhaustive, it’s just the ones remembered off the top of the head and of course there are records of similar crimes in this country going back years and years.

Meanwhile, the game-shooting industry feigns ‘zero tolerance’ for crimes against birds of prey and the Westminster Government, with all its vested interests, refuses to acknowledge there’s even a problem, let alone a systemic culture of wildlife crime.

UPDATE 9 April 2020: Shot buzzard in North Yorkshire ‘more than just a statistic’ (here)

12 thoughts on “Shot buzzard found injured near Shipton, North Yorkshire”

    1. Agreed. Well done to the farmer.

      It seems likely that the bird had only recently been shot, and most probably after 26th March when police were given power to enforce the nationwide lockdown.

      It would be reasonable to suppose therefore that there would be a fairly small number of potential suspects for the police to concern themselves with.

      1. A lot of farmers are good guys.This incident is near to where I live and one of my local farmers in particular is very wildlife friendly.He likes to see raptors on his land and was most upset when one of his barn owls was killed by traffic.However most farmers also know whos out shooting in their area and could probably name the shooters involved.

        1. Agree with that – the unspoken thing here is that many farmers are good guys but are caught up in rural politics – “if I shop the keeper the landowner wont renew my lease… or wont invite me to…or wont support me when etc…” those are the issues that are hard for the rest of us to understand. It can be tough out there.Nice to see this farmer being praised.

  1. Just read that the released white tailed eagles have headed to the killing zone that is North Yorkshire

    “The Daily Mirror’s pages are graced by a photo of a majestic white-tailed eagle, its wings out-stretched, soaring through the air. The birds, which have a 2.5m wing span, are being re-introduced in England after they were wiped out by illegal killing 240 years ago.

    The Mirror says researchers have been tracking the four young birds making their first big trips – and they have already been spotted on the North York Moors after travelling 300 miles”.

    Good luck they may need it

  2. Sadly, it was predicted that the Coronavirus “lockdown” would enable the “criminals in the countryside” to start a campaign of persecution against raptors, and other wildlife.
    We may never know the true scale of the persecution, as many birds of prey which are killed during this period may never be found and the hideous act, never witnessed by the public, who would normally be at large.

    Surely during this Coronavirus lockdown period there can be no “reasonable excuse” for a person to be found away from place the place where they are living in possession of a firearm?
    The area around Shipton by Beningbrough is predominantly rural agricultural land, where any “so called pest species” can be managed by non lethal methods, which is a requirement of the terms of the General licence.
    One would hope that if the police are stopping and questioning a person for the reasons that they are not at the the place where they are living- then that questioning should be very invasive if that person is in possession of a firearm?

    1. Article in Northern Echo on 8th of April— POLICE have revoked the licences of two men caught shooting in rural North Yorkshire and are reminding firearms holders to respect lockdown rules.

      On Tuesday morning this week, North Yorkshire Police revoked the shotgun certificates of two men who were found to be shooting on land in a rural area near Ripon on the afternoon of Sunday, April 5.

      When officers attended, they established that the men were shooting on land where they did not have permission, and in breach of current coronavirus guidance, as they were not shooting as part of their employment or at the request of the landowner.

      Inspector Andrew Palmer, head of firearms licensing at North Yorkshire Police, said: “I would like to reiterate the advice I have given certificate holders, which is if shooting is part of your work or employment, or it has been specifically requested by a landowner to protect their crops or livestock, then it is permitted.

      “However, any other shooting that is not part of a business is not essential, and should not be carried out at this time.

      “We will continue to review any breach on a case-by-case basis.——-Hope this is the first of many,would be nice to see this in national daily papers.

Leave a Reply to John L Cancel reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: