Press release from North Yorkshire Police (13 July 2020)
Appeal for information after buzzard found shot in Ryedale
Bird found seriously injured near Appleton-le-Moors
North Yorkshire Police is appealing for information after a female buzzard was discovered shot near Appleton le Moors on Sunday 5 July. The bird was found suffering multiple injuries in woods just off Hamley Lane, Appleton le Moors by a member of the public.
Although the buzzard received immediate veterinary treatment, she sadly did not survive given the seriousness of her injuries. A post mortem examination revealed she had suffered shot damage to her tail and wing feathers but also had leg and head wounds which may have been caused by becoming stuck in a cage trap.
Prior to her death, the female buzzard had been seen feeding two juveniles in the area and it is believed she was shot at some point between 6 – 9pm on Saturday 4 July 2020.
If you have any information which may help with this investigation, please call 101 quoting reference: 12200115223 or if you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
North Yorkshire Police Wildlife Crime Officer, Jeremy Walmsley, said:
“This is the latest in a very long line of raptor persecution incidents that have occurred in Ryedale over the last few months and it is completely unacceptable. Killing or injuring a bird of prey is not only illegal but cruel and callous.
We are doing everything we can to track down these offenders and I would urge anyone who can help with information about this incident or any other wildlife crime, to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Find out more about bird of prey persecution and how you can Recognise, Record and Report it.
The lawless untouchables of North Yorkshire strike again. New blog readers may well wonder, with such a high incident rate, how this is allowed to continue. Everybody knows North Yorkshire is consistently rated as having the worst record for illegal raptor persecution in England, year after year after year and yet there are no consequences and no deterrents – the criminals are assured they won’t be caught and even if they are, their employer will likely stump up large sums of money to pay for the best legal representation available. Meanwhile, representative bodies all enjoy a seat at the table of the so-called ‘partnerships’ that are meant to be tackling these crimes. Nobody bats an eyelid when these crimes are reported – they happen with such frequency that we’re all accustomed to the headlines and numbed to the reality.
This latest victim comes soon after a Channel 4 News special report that highlighted the extent of raptor persecution in North Yorkshire, and particularly on grouse moors in the two national parks (Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors) as well as in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (see here) where a senior police officer (Insp Matt Hagen) told news reporter Alex Thomson:
“All the shooting investigations that we’ve got going on at the moment are involving gamekeepers on grouse moors“.
Alex Thomson: All of them?
Matt Hagen: All of them.
Alex Thomson: Every single one?
Matt Hagen: That’s right.
One of those recently highlighted incidents involved the discovery of five dead buzzards that had been hidden under a rock on a Bransdale grouse moor in the North York Moors National Park – post mortems revealed that four had been shot (see here). North Yorkshire Police interviewed eight people (presumably gamekeepers) under caution and enquiries continue.
This latest victim wasn’t found on a grouse moor and although the nearest one isn’t a million miles away it’s not known where she was shot, although the head injury is consistent with what you’d expect to see of a buzzard trying to escape from a trap. This injury looks remarkably similar to that suffered by another buzzard not too far away in 2017 (see here).
If you have any information about any of these incidents that could help North Yorkshire Police bring the armed and out of control criminals to court, please call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.