Mass poisoning of birds of prey in south Scotland: man charged

Police Scotland press release:

Man charged with wildlife crimes in Stewartry

Police Scotland can confirm that a 64-year-old man has been charged with a number of wildlife crime offences in the Stewartry area of Dumfries and Galloway.

Extensive investigations have been ongoing into the deaths of upwards of 20 birds of prey and other wild birds in the Springholm area near Castle Douglas between 2018 and 2020. Enquiries subsequently established the birds had been poisoned by banned pesticides.

A report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

Wildlife Crime Officer Constable John Cowan said: “Residents in Springholm and the surrounding area as well as wildlife enthusiasts further afield will be only too well aware of a worrying rise in poisonings in and around the Springholm area over the last few years following on from previous appeals for information.

Working alongside partners such as the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), SSPCA (Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture), SAC (Scottish Agricultural College), SGRPID (Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division), Scottish National Heritage and Scottish Land and Estates, there has been an overwhelming collective determination to halt these incidents.

I would like to thank members of the public for the information they have provided throughout the investigation. This sends out a strong message that Police Scotland and partners treat wildlife crime very seriously and should act as a strong deterrent to anyone engaging in such activities, irrespective of the underhand tactics that may be used.”


We believe this case relates to the illegal poisoning of multiple red kites and buzzards, some of which have been reported here and here.

PLEASE NOTE: As usual, we will not be accepting comments on this case until legal proceedings have concluded. Thanks.

UPDATE 27th February 2021: Mass poisoning of raptors in south Scotland: has there been a conviction? (here)

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