Buzzard with shotgun injuries found in localised persecution hotspot, East Yorkshire

In early December an injured buzzard was found struggling by a member of the public in Sproatley, East Yorkshire.

[All photos from Jean Thorpe]

An RSPCA tweet on 4th December said the buzzard had injuries ‘consistent with trapping’ and the bird was transferred to the expert care of Jean Thorpe at Ryedale for rehabilitation.

However, Jean examined the bird and didn’t believe its injuries were consistent with trapping, mainly because the scabbed injuries were restricted to the front of the bird’s shins and not the back of the legs. She also noticed a gangrenous talon and the rest of the foot was also badly infected.

Jean took the buzzard to a specialist avian vet and a decision was taken to euthanise the bird due to the extent of its injuries.

An x-ray revealed the bird had been shot with a shotgun but it’s not clear how old that injury was and whether it was connected to the foot injury.

The buzzard is being sent for a full post mortem and Humberside Police have been advised of the incident. If you have any information that could assist the investigation please contact the police on Tel 101 and ask for Police Wildlife Crime Officer Richard Fussey. It’s not known whether a crime reference number has been issued.

Interestingly, back in 2013 two buzzards were found shot and dumped in a ditch in Sproatley (see here). The RSPB offered a reward for information leading to a conviction but like most of these crimes, the perpetrator was never identified/prosecuted.

5 thoughts on “Buzzard with shotgun injuries found in localised persecution hotspot, East Yorkshire”

  1. Why do these criminal hideous folk never seem to get any worthwhile retribution? Is it because the courts are rigged in favour of the usual corrupt establishment?

  2. More foul play by the “heros” of the countryside.

    “Why do these criminal hideous folk never seem to get any worthwhile retribution? Is it because the courts are rigged in favour of the usual corrupt establishment?”

    I would look for the “rigging” to be prevalent at a variety of levels.

  3. . . . . . . . . .yet another raptor to add to the ever increasing numbers found dead . Why is no-one ever brought to justice ?

  4. The RSPB have set out very concisely their position on game bird shooting in the Winter/Spring edition of their magazine Nature’s Home. Whilst I am sure most RSPB members will be all too aware of the issues surrounding raptor persecution, the article also discusses the broader issues of pheasant release, lead shot and land management.
    Hopefully the article will reach a wider audience if RSPB members pass on their copies of the magazine to friends and family.
    Whilst it won’t save individual birds such as the one featured in this blog, hopefully if more of the general public become aware of the issues surrounding game bird shooting, then political pressure will grow for something to be done to safeguard the countryside and wildlife in England and Wales. Whether this through a licensing scheme as proposed in Scotland, or for a ban on shooting altogether in areas where wildlife crime is occurring, is a matter which can be debated.
    So I would urge readers of this blog who have a copy of this magazine- please don’t simply put in the the recycling bin, but pass it on to others to read.
    The UN Climate Change Conference is to be held in November in Glasgow.
    So the more people who talk about and become aware of environmental issues in 2021 the better.
    Wildlife crime, raptor persecution, and how so much of the UK countryside is used for game bird shooting is an environmental issue.
    If it can be shown that much of the UK countryside is not being managed appropriately, which is leading to a degradation of wildlife, including the illegal killing of some of our most endangered species such as Golden Eagles, Hen Harriers etc, then there might just be sufficient noise from the public and mainstream media to change the status quo.
    I have already written to my MP and pointed out that the UK government will look like hypocrites if they demand action to save the rain forests, enhance carbon capture or protect habitat for endangered species across the world, but then fail to stop the mismanagement of our own countryside or fail to stop the continual illegal persecution of UK endangered species.
    We all owe it these birds, to make 2021 a year when we make it perfectly clear that the current status quo regarding the mis management of the environment, and the associated wildlife crime is no longer an option which will be tolerated!

  5. You have to ask the question why are criminals repeatedly being issued with shotgun licenses, they are obviously lacking in common sense and the grey matter, you only need to have a conversation with a gamekeeper to realise they xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

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