In April, during lockdown, two dogs became violently ill on a dog walk near Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire.
One of them survived but sadly the other one (Molly) did not.
[Molly, photo by Chloe Ambler]
In August, North Yorkshire Police confirmed (here) that Molly had died after ingesting what has widely become known as the ‘Nidderdale Cocktail’ – a lethal combination of four pesticides (Bendiocarb, Chloralose, Isophenphos and Carbofuran) that has been identified in a number of raptor persecution poisoning crimes in the area.
The police investigation has included conducting high profile raids at several Nidderdale addresses, accompanied by poisons experts from Natural England and persecution experts from RSPB (see here). The police have also issued a warning notice (here) for local residents to take extra care, one in a long line of warnings given Nidderdale’s notorious reputation as a red kite poisoning hotspot (see here).
[Photo by Ruth Tingay]
A local resident has now stepped forward to offer a £5,000 reward for information leading to the poisoner(s). Keith Tordoff, who owns the sweet shop in Pateley Bridge, told BBC news:
“It affects tourism. It affects business. Everybody’s affected by this stain on the reputation of Nidderdale and we’ve got to get the message across to these people, this has got to stop.”
You might recognise Keith’s name. It’s not the first time he’s put up a reward for information to help catch the raptor killers and he featured in a recent Channel 4 News documentary about raptor persecution on grouse moors in North Yorkshire, where he told the presenter he’d faced a backlash for speaking out, including having eggs thrown at his windows and receiving anonymous threatening letters (here).
Molly’s owner, Chloe Ambler, wants the poisoner(s) to be held to account. She told the BBC:
“[It’s] absolutely devastating. You feel like you’ve been robbed.
I need someone to be held responsible because at the end of the day we’ve lost amazing Molly.
It’s been so awful for us and I don’t see why people should get away with that.”
Howard Jones, an investigations officer at RSPB, said:
“It is absolutely dreadful and this underlines what is the completely irresponsible nature of placing poison out into the countryside.
These people are doing it and know it’s illegal but they don’t care.”
If you’re sick to the back teeth of illegal raptor persecution on driven grouse moors, please consider participating in this quick and easy e-action to send a letter to your local Parliamentary representative (MSP/MP/MS) urging action. Launched on Hen Harrier Day by Wild Justice, RSPB and Hen Harrier Action, over 58,000 people have signed up so far.
This means that over 58,000 pre-written letters complaining about illegal raptor persecution and the environmental damage caused by intensive grouse moor management, are winging their way to politicians of all parties across the UK. If you want your local politician to receive one, Please join in HERE