Article from The Southern Star (Co Cork) (2 June 2020)
Bait trays are found after buzzard killed in Kealkil
By Kieran O’Mahony
TRAYS containing contaminated meat laid out as bait may be responsible for the killing of a buzzard in the Kealkil area earlier this month.
[One of the meat trays submitted for toxicology analysis]
The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) were recently notified of the discovery of the dead buzzard by a family who were out walking their dog in the area.
This is the second incident in West Cork this year where buzzards, protected species, have been deliberately killed. It follows the discovery of 23 buzzards on farmland between Bandon and Timoleague in January. In this case, they were poisoned using the banned insecticide, carbofuran. It is not clear if these two incidents are connected.
“NPWS staff are involved in an ongoing investigation into whether this was a persecution incident as they have found several trays, which contained meat which would appear to have been laid out as bait,” said a NPWS spokesperson.
The dead buzzard, the meat and the trays, have been sent to the State laboratory for further analysis to determine if there was poison involved.
The trays were placed along a track, which local people use for walking and other recreational activities.
“Any poison bait or any meat-based poison, laid out in this way is illegal and indiscriminate. A dog either ingesting the poison or eating another animal that is sick or dead as a result of the bait, is likely to get seriously ill or die.”
The spokesperson also said that children are at risk if they pick up or handle contaminated material.
NPWS is asking any member of the public who has information about the incident or who sees anything suspicious – meat-based poison bait, which might be on a carcass or meat laid out in the open – to contact them or the gardaí immediately.
It’s hard to imagine why trays of meat might be laid out other than to poison something, but perhaps there is a legitimate reason? However, if these do turn out to be trays of poisoned meat, the brazenness of the person who placed them would be astonishing.