Buzzard shooting – police appeal for information on drive-by suspects

Press release from National Parks & Wildlife Service, Ireland (9th December 2020)

NPWS appeals for information after buzzard shooting

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is appealing for information relating to a buzzard found dead on the R422, just south of Emo, Co Laois.

The bird was perched on a tree on the roadside when it was shot with a shotgun at around 7.50am on 5 December.

The firearm was discharged from the road on the south side of the village.

The investigating Wildlife Ranger said a shot was heard and the dead buzzard was found by a member of the public.

A spent shotgun cartridge was also found.

The NPWS is interested in information about a vehicle that was recorded on CCTV in the area – it’s believed that individuals may be driving around looking for buzzards and then shooting them from a vehicle.

Anyone with information – particularly about vehicles or persons acting suspiciously in Emo on the morning of 5 December – is asked to contact the NPWS regional office at (0761) 002667, or to contact gardaí.

Buzzards are a protected species. They became extinct in Ireland in the late 19th century but were re-established in Northern Ireland in the 1930s.


14 thoughts on “Buzzard shooting – police appeal for information on drive-by suspects”

  1. Tut tut. Amatuers! In England, Module 101 of “Buzzard shooting from vehicles” states : use extreme caution if doing it on public roads after 6am, make sure Buzzard is killed outright *use the 5 or 8 shot semi-auto, always recover and dispose of the corpse immediately, never leave any cartridge cases. These Irish boys must have been making a point.

      1. No Alan its not funny it is probably, indeed almost certainly the modus operandi of what wildlife criminals do so you don’t find the evidence of a crime. Most wildlife crime never comes to our attention because the criminals are “careful”.

        1. This is Ireland and if you honestly think they will be any easier to track down and prosecute uou must be drinking the wrong brand of tea

      2. Alan – apologies. It is likely just a reflection of my black sense of humour, and an effort to inform folk of the way in which 10-20 Buzzards die each day in the uplands of North of England and Borders. I can assure you I wasn’t making light of this Irish incident.

        1. I think your point was well made Sphagnum and anyone who reads the comments on this site on a regular basis will fully appreciate that you are not in the least amused by the persecution of raptors – in the UK, in Ireland or anywhere else. Unfortunately, some people seemingly struggle to spot irony…

  2. Only four days between the (alleged) incident and an appeal for information. Is this a record? Could police forces elsewhere learn a lesson from this?

  3. “A spent shotgun cartridge was also found found” – no doubt this will be tested by the police for fingerprints, maybe even DNA to see if there is a match on their database.

      1. Indeed Keith and in the right court the if found guilty the car should be confiscated and crushed as equipment used in a crime! ( preferably with the occupants still in it.)

  4. I lived and worked in Ireland and saw and heard how the majority of the people I came into contact with regarded wild birds not interested was a good reaction me being a birdwatcher was best kept a secret I saw more than 1 hedge almost totally destroyed during the breeding season with obviously distressed birds present Police aware as other onlookers it was illegal nobody and cared this was not that long ago .Pubs could lose their licence for opening Christmas day and be in a fair amount of trouble for disobeying the set hours the local gards knew where all these pubs were and could be found propping up the bar pint in hand.

  5. Why? Just…WHY?! What would be the purpose of a car load of yobs cruising around the country just to target and shoot buzzards?
    It beggars belief that any one could even remotely find pleasure in such an disgusting activity. I can’t even think of any reason, legitimate or not, as to why people do such things:( on par with the amount of swans targeted with crossbow bolts, reported in the media several times this year.
    No form of justification could be given (or accepted) when yobs are caught doing this, as not even misguided ‘pest control’ could qualify; even seagulls, crows, magpies, grey squirrels, along with other alleged ‘pests’ are less damaging than rats, but more damaging than buzzards, so in what fractured grey matter cell brain could come up with any reason for targeting buzzards.
    That they/buzzards were already extinct once and reintroduced, in a non grouse driving/shooting place, in a season with no ‘young livestock’ to protect,
    only sadly exposes that this goes further than ‘pest control”.
    I suspect this is almost a yobbish national hobby more like, the same sort who enjoy hare coursing, cock fighting, dog fighting entertainment.
    It’s beyond reasoning, so much so that one struggles to even grasp what other sort of motive is involved except for pure unadulterated disregard and contempt for any wildlife or animal life in general.
    That this was reported in only FOUR days is an example our own police & wildlife crime investigators should be observing, attempting to implement similar actions asap.
    That a car is identified via CCTV gives hope that the police there have better success with “video evidence” than we have had, not to mention another reason why covert CCTV should be placed in high wildlife crime areas.
    Not just raptors either, as the level of Swan targeting, Badger baiting, dog/cock fighting and hare coursing is equally disgusting.
    Having worked on an organic dairy farm, use of medication, antibiotics, vaccines and TB testing is very strictly monitored and documented via soil Association.
    Consider that there are several Badger setts on the acreage the herds grazed, (note also, hedgehog rescue centers refuse to release in high badger populated areas), so one would assume we would have the pro badger cull people on the doorstep. Interestingly enough, even with the additional difficulties of being an organic farm,we managed for years without needing to resort to requesting culling licenses or other such tactics.
    I do have concerns about the impact in this particular circumstance, especially as I am deeply concerned about how our farmers post EU will be able to survive, and compete on an world (ie US) level, as the very idea of an US/UK agri deal frightens me already.
    As such, we DO need to find practices to balance and manage the TB conundrum, w/personal experience that allowed me to filter facts vs propaganda, and there is a legitimate connection. With new practices and ideas being brought forward, faster, until such a time a solution is found, I would easily forgo cheap dairy/meat, buying less, more expensive, thus keeping our food at our high world standard quality vs adopting the methods used in the US at the time I left it behind.
    I digress, apologies, but at times the two subjects dearest to me, wildlife/raptor/crime and animal welfare overlap more often than one would think, and wanting to find balanced solutions to merge, protect, care, and maintain all animal welfare at the highest level in the world, means I must believe that surely this is not just a fantasy dream. The thought of anything less, abandoning those hopes, would also then make one question what the purpose of our existence truly is. Thank you to all of the amazing people who contribute their time to these issues, whether a few moments to read/post/share or physically out in the rain, cold, wild and yet glorious lands, (wishing I still could), you are the reason we still have leverage and spreading support. Without you, the world would be a lesser, meaner, selfish place to be… but With you, we have much more strength, determination and most of all…Hope. Warmest regards, Ladybudd

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