North Yorkshire police warn public of potential poisonous baits at Pateley Bridge

North Yorkshire Police are warning the public of potential poisonous baits at Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale following the suspected poisoning of two dogs in April. [August 2020: See update at foot of blog]

The following message was emailed to members of the local community last week:

This suspected poisoning incident was referred to by the Police in a recent Yorkshire Post article about raptor persecution in the area:

Nidderdale residents will be used to receiving these warnings; there have been several in recent years (e.g. see here, here, here, here, here, here, here) as illegal poisonous baits have been used routinely to kill off red kites inside this AONB and the surrounding area (e.g. see here).

Dog walkers are urged to keep their pets under close control and report anything suspicious to the police. DO NOT HANDLE A SUSPECTED POISONOUS BAIT – some of the chemicals used as poison are so dangerously toxic they have been banned from use in the UK.

UPDATE 1 August 2020: Dog poisoning confirmed in Nidderdale raptor persecution hotspot (here)

18 thoughts on “North Yorkshire police warn public of potential poisonous baits at Pateley Bridge”

  1. Two years ago when interviewed one of the owners of the Middlesmoor Estate said that Nidderdale had 12 or 13 grouse gamekeepers. I suspect he means Upper Nidderdale itself rather than the whole AONB. Given that and one could rule out a number of those keepers on geographical grounds, assuming of course that this poisoner is a keeper it ought not be difficult to get the list down to very few suspects.

    Despite the fact that the “grouse community” is tight knit even the Nidderdale Moorland Group must be feeling pressured. Good, time somebody broke ranks and talked. If they remain silent despite their hopes this will not just go away, xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx and knowing Nidderdale something else illegal with raptors will soon happen, its as regular as clockwork after all in this area.

    Unless people start to speak up they are all complicit or at least seen as complicit. Self preservation would suggest somebody from within needs to speak out or they all stand condemned and doomed.

    If it were my dog(s) the poisoner would be better being reached first by the police than me! I’m sure many dog owners would feel that way rightly or wrongly. What will it be next a child FFS.

    1. “If it were my dog(s) the poisoner would be better being reached first by the police than me! I’m sure many dog owners would feel that way rightly or wrongly. What will it be next a child FFS.”

      Given the many years that the vile criminals have evaded prosecution it appears clear that the only event that will awaken a large swathe of the public is a child being poisoned. That will rightly generate outrage and a demand for :-

      1. The perpetrators to be caught and prosecuted.

      2. An investigation as to how, for decades, criminals have been able to leave lethally poisoned baits in places accessed by people & animals, yet when these substances are found there is no automatic public warning.

      Good on NYP for taking steps to alert the public in this particular case.

  2. Dog walkers are urged to keep their pets under close control ————-Should that read”Estate owners are urged to keep their gamekeepers under control.”

  3. Isn’t it time someone had a gentle word with ‘them (those ‘few bad apples’)’ about leaving poisons where the public access? You’d think whilst they continue unabated that they’d still have the common sense to be a tad more discreet, ok maybe not on decades of past reports.

    All this evidence is absolutely brilliant to be able to present to statute as justification that various ‘traditional’ practices need to be discontinued (aka banned) as they represent a serious risk to the public? If discovered in Scotland then vicarious liability kicks in, and in England VL is long overdue IMHO, so a push to get it on the statute books to address this ‘practice’ perhaps?

  4. vicarious liability is only any good if it results in owners/agents getting prosecuted as well. They might have it in scotland but it doesnt appear to be resulting in many of the puppet masters doing time

    1. VL in Scotland has achieved zilch ! Mythical legislation that masquerades as a tool for punishing criminals.

      1. Realise it seems to be an ineffective tool, but if a crime has been committed on an estate then surely there can be pressure applied through MSPs to ensure that an independent investigation is conducted by third parties with no links whatsoever to vested interests …. ok, I suspect you’ll call me naive given the decades of failure of VL etc. So, if the system is continuing to allow crime to continue that surely is evidence that it’s not fit for purpose so needs a complete overhaul …. follow the money as I was told by a stalwart campaigner years ago and use critical mass of community collaboration ….

  5. This is not casual petty crime. It is open, blatant and repetitive defiance of the law and those who seek to uphold it!

  6. Following on from the feature in the Yorkshire Post I sent an e mail to Julian Smith MP, whose constituency includes Nidderdale.

    The following is an extract

    “I read an article in the Yorkshire Post yesterday which highlights this areas appalling record when it comes to wildlife crime. As a regular visitor we all know that this has gone on for a very long time. The reason I am writing to you however is that in the article two senior police officers say that they need increased powers to be able to tackle the illegal shooting, poisoning and trapping of birds of prey that should naturally form part of Nidderdale’s picturesque landscape. As you know all raptors are protected by the law of this land. As Nidderdale is on your patch, I was hoping that you would be able to positively support our police”

    I have not, as yet, received a response. If anyone else feels able to follow up on this I would be grateful. I was hoping he would make a public statement as supporting law and order is a key policy element for this government.

    1. Hi Mike, well you are entitled to a reply even if it only be eye-wash. After all, he did make the effort to visit Middlesmoor and swan about with the estates owners and Dallowgill’s owners, commenting ““I enjoyed meeting these landowners and some of the people who support these businesses and manage the land. These types of estates make a valuable contribution to our local economy.”

      Indeed, the hosts were chuffed to have him there and educate him about what they do. ‘Simon Bostock, owner of Dallowgill Estate said: “Julian Smith was very good to take time out of his busy programme to visit Middlesmoor. It gave us as land managers and gamekeepers an excellent opportunity to show him what we do to preserve and enhance our valuable heather uplands and their wildlife, and to demonstrate how grouse shooting benefits the lives of those who live and work on and around the moors. We were also able to show how, in conjunction with DEFRA, Natural England and other interested parties, moorland owners are working to improve deep peat soils to better filter drinking water for free and mitigate flooding as well as combat climate change.” ‘

      Other than this I confess I know nothing about the man, in fairness it may be that he has also met with conservationists / raptor workers and heard the dark and unspoken side of the story.

      The quotes are from the Moorland Assn. website, 4th Aug 2017. The full article is there.

      1. Thanks for your excellent contribution.

        We are lucky where we live as we have plenty of interesting places to visit and walk. My family have decided not to visit Nidderdale again unless things change. It is too upsetting.The Black Swan, the Bridge Inn, the several Crown inns will be a fond memory only, as will the butchers and sweet shop in Pateley.

      2. I noted a large “vote Julian Smith” sign situated on Blubberhouses Moor next to the A59 before at least one of the elections. Blubberhouses Moor and surrounding area appears to have had plenty of wildlife crime incidents recorded according to the RSPB interactive map. I will let others make what they want from that

  7. What a pathetic nation we have become.
    Spain and other nations have poison search dog teams, heavy fines, prison sentences, loss of hunting and grazing licenses.
    They are rapidly eradicating this scourge and …… oh, yes, jailing, fining people massively and withholding licenses.
    The Pyrenees Bearded Vulture population now stands at around 1,000 birds including non breeders thanks to such measures, after nearly being poisoned into extinction.
    What do we do in UK ?….. warn of the danger of poison bait – pathetic !

    Keep up the pressure !

  8. Sadly the sad excuses for human beings who leave these poisons in the countryside are a potential curse in all areas but once again, North Yorkshire seems very much in the news. I am delighted that Wild Justice has set up a fund to raise money to help wildlife crime officers in constabularies all over the U.K. to better detect and prosecute the cowardly criminals who perpetrate these crimes -often of course perpetrated by game keepers and others employed in the shooting”industry”. Obviously we all know that their employers should also be prosecuted through vicarious liability which if it ever becomes legal(I know that this law already exists in Scotland) in the rest of the UK would help to hopefully deter at least some of these criminals. They obviously have no regard to the safety of humans and their domestic pets and so these psycho’s really are a danger to society-yes as stated in a previous response to this outrageous crime-I think that as a society we are pathetic-our laws here are weak and our law enforcement agencies are underfunded-BECAUSE our Government panders to the people who own these shooting estates and other low life-this is why at a conservation legislation level, our laws are pathetic and frankly backward!

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