Yet another red kite found poisoned in North Yorkshire

Yet another raptor persecution case from North Yorkshire, and yet another crime committed as part of a reported ‘surge’ of similar crimes recorded during the first period of lockdown (e.g. see here and here).

This time it’s a red kite that was found dying in April 2020 at Scampston, near Malton, to the south of the North York Moors National Park.

[Photos via Jean Thorpe]

Her corpse was sent for toxicology at the Government’s Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) and the results have apparently just been released (presumably delayed due to Covid19).

She was poisoned by a mix of Brodifacoum and Bendiocarb ‘in quantities that would not be consistent with an accidental incident’, writes Jean Thorpe from Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

Anybody with information about this crime please contact Police Wildlife Crime Officer Jez Walmsley at Malton Police Station (Tel: 101) and quote incident reference #12200055801.

18 thoughts on “Yet another red kite found poisoned in North Yorkshire”

  1. It is way beyond time that possession of those chemicals / pesticides that are illegal to use was made a criminal offence.

    1. Appreciating that neither of these are illegal in the UK, although Bendiocarb was withdrawn from sale / use in the USA in 2009.

      1. Hi Simon,

        It’s an offence to possess Bendiocarb in Scotland (along with 7 other listed pesticides) under The Possession of Pesticides (Scotland) Order 2005. See here for the list:

        Click to access data.pdf

        The RSPB proposed similar legislation be enacted in England but in 2012 the then Environment Minister, Richard Benyon (who just happens to own a pheasant shoot and a grouse moor) refused to accept it was necessary. He argued it ‘may not be a proportionate course of action’.


  2. “Anybody with information about this crime please contact Police Wildlife Crime Officer Jez Walmsley at Malton Police Station (Tel: 101) and quote incident reference #12200055801.”

    On receipt of any information an application should be sent to the Vatican (or whoever else is in charge of phenomena these days) asking for that event to be declared a miracle.
    After seven months it will take a fucking miracle to obtain any useful information.

  3. Its been illegal to posses Strychnine for many many years now in England, deadly stuff, very painfull death it does cause.

  4. Poisoning is one of those that always prompts you to go…”if I was in charge I would…etc” But it ought to be so easy and politically bipartisan to bring in tough (prison) sentencing for this. There is simply no reason for anyone to have any of these substances. It is almost impossible to catch a keeper in the act with it and just a 1lb Kilner jar full is so easy to stash in the woods in a hole under a log, yet it will last an Estate 20 years or more, could kill thousands of wild birds and animals, dogs, cats – and quite a few humans. So, “if I was in charge” I would bring in very heavy sentencing, have one final well-publicised amnesty and after that treat possession of these poisons exactly the same as possession of guns without a licence. Likewise, anybody dealing in it I would treat the same as some inner-city gangster caught trading in stolen shotguns. Poison is just as dangerous. Something very bad is going to happen with this stuff one day, good luck with your conscience Minister and chums.

    1. In answer to many here it was one Richard Benyon at the time a DEFRA minister as well as keen shot and grouse moor owner who refused to populate an order in England, similar to that in place in Scotland, that would have made most of the commoner poisons illegal to possess.
      Like Sphagnum I believe that THIS SHOULD BE PUNISHABLE WITH A LONG PRISON SENTENCE, POSSESSION NEVER MIND POISONING PROTECTED WILDLIFE. These people are worse than scum, those who deal in this stuff should be treated like heroin or cocaine traffickers. Nasty people committing nasty crimes deserve to be treated appropriately and yes Jill I understand, although I would make him eat the bloody poison itself.

  5. Until everyone demonstrates a healthy respect for each other and for the living world, rather than contempt for both, these things will continue to happen. We are who we are through other people, aka Ubuntu. People reflect how they were raised, the values of their parents and their communities, the views of those they choose to socialise with … for good or ill. There will always be sand-castle builders and sand-castle destroyers … but we must never stop trying to educate the latter, who do not yet seem to understand that they really need to change their cruel, inconsiderate and illegal ways!

    1. I wish I had your optimism and tolerance.

      But these people are criminals.
      They do not deserve respect, and I have absolute contempt for them!!
      They are happy to leave poisons in open places where not only wildlife, but pets or children could ingest them.
      When lacing things with poison, they make a conscious choice, they know they are doing wrong, they know what they are doing is illegal, and yet they are happy to do it.

      It’s not a question of education, as they will refute the values that you wish to teach them. They already know what they doing is a criminal offence, and morally abhorrent.

      Sometimes we just have to accept that some people are evil, and because they are evil, that they are capable of committing such awful acts.

      Like other contributors I believe it should it be criminal offence to possess these poisons.
      There should be no need to prove any intention- simply to have possession should be enough to secure a conviction. The definition of possession should follow the same principles as laid out in the Misuse of Drugs Act.
      But what these people do is worse than than the actions of any drug dealer. At least the addict buying from a dealer, has a choice in whether to buy the drugs or not. Wildlife has no choice, it is wickedly deceived into eating what it believes is a source of food.
      Therefore possession of these poisons should be banned, and attract a mandatory prison sentence of over 3 years. So that upon release, the perpetrator would be subject to lifetime ban on the possession of a firearm. This would serve as deterrent ,as it would make anyone convicted unemployable in a role which required the ability to use a firearm.

      1. Never assume that kindness is a weakness. Illegal persecution … and also legal persecution to a great extent … makes my blood boil. By nature & nurture, I am a pacifist. Sadly, one who quite often feels like I could happily punch the lights out of some people, if I thought it might change their ways for the better. In other words, I’m human!
        Was it not Einstein who said, ‘Peace cannot be maintained by force, but only through understanding’?
        Entrenchment does no one any good. Does having a rant make any of us feel any better? Temporarily, maybe.
        We have to engage with people of conscience (and there are some) who live & work within shooting, game-keeping, pigeon-fancying, farming & rural communities. We have to educate the young people who are growing up within these communities and who may come under the influence of wildlife criminals. We have to support those working in the various Investigations Teams. We have to work at changing underlying attitudes if we are to have any chance of eradicating wildlife crime and / or bringing wildlife criminals to book.
        Be appalled! Be angry! Be determined and indefatigable in your efforts to chase down & prosecute wildlife criminals. However, I believe that changing the hearts and minds of the young growing up within ‘law-breaking’ communities, is the only way to find a permanent solution!

  6. I feel completely powerless in trying to make this STOP. All our local goshawks vanish shortly after arriving here in East Hants. Someone is taking them out. At a local Country Sports Day here, the falconer told me “You just missed two guys here telling me that goshawks have been smashing our pheasants. When I suggested keeping a net over them they gloated “No point now, they`re no longer a problem”
    Basically, they are a law unto themselves. They have arrogance and a confidence that it`s their duty to do this

      1. It’s because the laws and police powers in relation to wildlife legislation are ineffective.
        The political system is such that proper legal reform to bring these despicable people to justice will not happen.
        An interesting story on Radio4 this morning concerning hunting seminars and tactics used to avoid prosecution for illegal hunting. It would seem some of those taking part in the seminars were peers. As there is a police investigation into the matter I won’t comment further than to ask the question “What sort of depraved society do we live in?”.

  7. The chances are that this bird was the female from an established pair in that general area, no activity at their usual nest site having been recorded by Yorkshire Red Kites in this year’s breeding season. The presence of this pair in that area represented a significant eastward extension of the recorded North Yorkshire breeding population and it is a disappointment that their continuity there has been broken, at least for this year. Hopefully the male has survived the illegal poisoning activity and will find a new mate next year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s