Buzzard shot & critically injured in Bedfordshire

Here is yet another grisly account of a buzzard being illegally shot in the UK, just four days after the last one was reported.

That one was in Cambridgeshire, this one was in neighbouring Bedfordshire.

According to social media reports by South Essex Wildlife Hospital, an injured buzzard was brought to them by an RSPCA inspector after being picked up at an undisclosed location in Bedford on Friday 5th February 2021.

The vet diagnosed a fractured humerus and looking at the x-ray it looks like an air gun pellet has caused a catastrophic injury (photos by South Essex Wildlife Hospital, injury site on x-ray highlighted by RPUK).

I’m no vet but looking at its appalling injury it’s hard to see how this bird could have flown any distance from the location where it was shot.

According to the reports, the vet consulted with a specialist raptor vet in the US and it was concluded the damage was irreparable so a decision was made to euthanise the buzzard to prevent further suffering.

Apparently the RSPCA are making enquiries.

If you have any information about this crime please contact the RSPCA (0300-1234-999) or Bedfordshire Police (101) or the RSPB Investigations Team (01767-689551).

Alternatively, please call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 – 555111.

12 thoughts on “Buzzard shot & critically injured in Bedfordshire”

  1. “an injured buzzard was brought to them by an RSPCA inspector after being picked up at an undisclosed location in Bedford on Friday 5th February 2021.”

    “Apparently the RSPCA are making enquiries.” ………………… Apparently !

    If you have any information about this crime please contact the RSPCA (0300-1234-999) or Bedfordshire Police (101) or the RSPB Investigations Team (01767-689551).

    Alternatively, please call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 – 555111.


    The quest to find raptor killers everywhere seems to have a plethora of “undisclosed locations”.

    If the police or the RSPCA are asking for information from the public why on earth can they not be specific about the location. That is common sense.

    Maybe no one saw the shooting, but it is quite possible that some people noticed a low life skulking about with an air weapon. Such information could prove to be a useful start towards finding the culprit.

    1. Dougie,

      I think you’ve misunderstood what’s going on here.

      The blog post was not based on an appeal for information by either the Police or the RSPCA – it was simply me blogging about reports on social media from the South Essex Wildlife Hospital and I wrote that the location hadn’t been disclosed in any of those social media reports.

      You can tell when you’re reading an official press release on here because it’ll say so at the top of the blog post.

      I haven’t seen any media appeals yet from either the RSPCA or the Police (and the police may not even know about the case) because the bird was only picked up on Friday. It takes days for the RSPCA and Police to generate a press release – it has to be sanctioned by several layers of bureaucracy before it can go public and the likelihood of that happening over a weekend is slim.

      1. I understand the police can generate public awareness to an incident very quickly via Twitter and other social media, and that the main stream media monitor what is happening on social media and so a “story” can very quickly be escalated.

        It’s very apparent from what is reported on this blog, that time and time again that certain police forces are failing to expedite the media options open to them to appeal for witnesses to wildlife crimes.

        A witness identification strategy should be part of every police investigation- there may be reasons on some occasions to hold back media witness appeals- but in most investigations the early identification of witnesses is crucial.

        It also needs to be considered that failing to appeal to as wide a spectrum of witnesses can lead to allegations that the police are not conducting an “open and honest” investigation, and by failing to initiate witnesses media appeals, the police may in fact be accused of conducting a conclusion driven investigation by selecting only the evidence which supports their hypothesis as to what has happened.

        The other question that needs raising, is whether the police are effectively using schemes like “rural watch” in their wildlife investigations by getting the coordinators to contact watch members in the area where the crimes are occurring. In my experience this can work very effectively, and very quickly help identify individuals, even in remote rural areas, who are committing crimes where witnesses from the general public may be more problematic.

        Are the police treating wildlife crimes with the same methodology as they would “crimes against the person”?
        There seems to be such a diverse range of responses from the police to wildlife crime.
        Should there not be a national minimum investigative standard to wildlife crimes?
        There is a Victims Charter which sets out what a victim of crime can expect from the police during a criminal investigation- should something similar also be applied to wildlife investigations?- particularly those involving birds of prey which are a national wildlife crime priority?

        Bearing in mind how much money is being spent on raptor conservation projects – should Chief Constables and Crime Commissioners be held accountable for how the police service report and investigate raptor crimes?

        1. Yes, John, some police forces are excellent, others are not. This has been done to death on here, tbh.

          The bottom line, in this case, is that we don’t even know whether the police have been advised as the RSPCA were the ones directly involved.

  2. Having been involved with injured wild birds and animals, it seems the norm for Vets to euthanase.
    This might be because it simply isn’t financially worthwhile to make good the injuries( who pays?)
    Tell me I’m wrong and reel off a string of exceptions, but I have never known one.
    There are a number of wildlife hospitals that are willing to help distressed and injured creatures. I wonder if they are contacted……

  3. Wtf is WRONG with people?!! How could ANYONE justify this? :( !! It’s no different than the spate of Swans being tortured for amusement or otherwise :( This goes beyond DGS as its happening in public parks and beauty spots too. Until there are much more severe penalties in place, elevating animal crime from “just property” as how pets are treated, to a much more significant level, with equally harsher penalties, I do not see acts of this sort declining. SHAME on those who not only take part in this disgusting behaviour, but those also turning a blind eye to it. A poster I created for my shop in the US (well being and/or spiritual resources), and it is sadly just as profound and applicable in the UK/world, for acts including this… “If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem” …and it doesn’t matter how far removed they think themselves to be, it still applies. In the states, anyone seen engaging in such disgusting behavior, would likely be staggering into the nearest A&E/ER, with an ar*e full of buckshot…or pellets as shown in this photo, as the hunting community I was raised in would regard this as despicable, as any civilised person should.

    1. Our local swans were having a hard time even before lockdown. One arsehole videoed himself pulling a swan of its nest and trampling the eggs, the disgusted locals pushed for its park lake to add an island so hopefully future nests will be safer. There was another ‘big man’ who in broad daylight set his Alsatian on a swan in the Forth and Clyde canal. The incident was reported, but he was never caught. There’s been another case years ago where a swan on the Union canal had some charmer put a bolt from a crossbow through it. As well as the specific targeting of raptors by field sport enthusiasts there’s obviously still a fair sized pool of general thugs who’re just happy to maim and kill anything that’s big enough for them to hit – whether swan or buzzard. It’s always been there and hopefully less prevalent than it was when I was a kid (the one benefit of computer games), but there’s still far, far too much and if it’s declining it’s not because society is making a serious, pro active attempt to eradicate it. The carnage that has been and still is being caused by airguns to wildlife, domestic pets and livestock needs to be addressed publicly at long last. There also needs to be a big effort to prevent this mentality develop in children, it must have the same root as general vandalism, we are currently crap at doing so in the 21st century.

  4. I am pretty sure that under the lockdown rules – going out to commit crime is not one of the reasons to be able to leave home!!

    The rules are quite simple.
    Everyone must stay at home expect where necessary.
    People may leave home;
    to shop for basic necessities
    exercise once per day
    to go to work
    medical reasons.

    Wandering round the countryside with a shot gun does not appear to be included in these exemptions.

    There has been far too many birds of prey shot during lockdown periods.

    Maybe the police in rural areas should start focusing on those individuals who are venturing away from home in possession of a shotgun and fining them heavily under the covid regulations. Whilst game keepers might be able to claim exemption due to work purposes- I can’t see anyone else having a valid reason to be in possession of a firearm- a walk in the countryside is exercise, there is no necessity to be in possession of a gun.

    Maybe the police need to be far more proactive – lockdown rules provide the police with a very legitimate opportunity to be stopping people and requiring them to explain their presence away from home. Such a policy might serve as a deterrent, and help protect birds of prey at a time when the criminals are using the scarcity of the public and potential witnesses to commit these atrocious wildlife crimes.

  5. John, don’t see an exemption for Pheasant shooting in the rules either but there has been plenty going on in Lincolnshire!

  6. I see predominantly the same names here time and time again. I`m a like-minded soul though I refrain from commenting too much here as the Ed would delete most of them. The “Cxxxxx Mafia” are busy down here in Hampshire stopping goshawks from establishing. It`s “Pheasant World” down here and Mr Goshawk is not welcome. At a local country sports show here, the Bird of Prey Display man told me that I`d just missed two gamekeepers who openly told him how they “sorted out” their goshawk problem. It`s rife here.
    On a much needed positive note; I am constantly picking up pheasant road kill and slinging it over the hedge for the hungry birds. They cannot feed on the busy roads so this allows them some much needed sustenance, particularly in these cold snaps. I urge others to engage in this practice. Keep up the pressure Good people

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