North Wales Police have published a tweet about a peregrine that was found dying on Tuesday lunchtime near the Osprey Centre at Porthmadog, North Wales.
It was taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre for a veterinary examination.
According to the Police, the vets said it had ‘probably been shot’ as there was an entry and exit wound. There are no further details.
Unfortunately this young peregrine died of its injuries.
If you have any information that could help this investigation, please contact North Wales Police and quote reference 21000222577.
6 thoughts on “Peregrine shot & killed in North Wales”
Pigeon fancier, probably an air rifle
Yep – these scumbags are a menace to Peregrines all over these islands
Mentioned it before, but can’t help doing so again, one of the very worst things I ever saw was a pigeon ‘fancier’ drowning an unwanted bird in a shiny steel bucket full of water – its wings were beating the sides frantically, fucking horrendous sight. I was a shy, fifteen year old guest of the family which was the reason I didn’t intervene, the activity took place in a back garden in open view so this must have been a frequent, casual thing. When I hear these bastards witter on about birds of prey being cruel killers it really turns my stomach. Years ago the local free sheet had as a lead feature on the front page an article about the local pigeon fanciers lobbying the MP to have birds of prey ‘controlled’. It wasn’t that long after red kites had been translocated to Doune so of course there was a claim one might have been seen attacking a loft. Years later I heard a young guy say he didn’t care how nice they looked he’d shoot any hawk on sight to protect his birds. Elsewhere they’ve attached barbed fishing hooks to pigeons and let them go to try and ensnare peregrines, and they’ve covered live ones in poison and put on a tether near their nests. One hell of a lot of low lifes involved in pigeon racing not helped by a seedy betting side to it that doesn’t get much profile.
Anyone else noticed the number of keepers and ex keepers that just happen to keep some pigeons/doves in the back garden? You find this out, because of course they love to broadcast how they’ve been attacked by sparrowhawks or BoPs in general. Yet another sign that ‘control’ is needed of course, and I’ve even heard these pet birds described as livestock that need protection. One said his birds had been troubled by a sparrowhawk, but ‘the problem was now solved’..bit of taunting going on there is it? The good news is that keeping pigeons is losing two to three percent of its followers every year so hopefully going in the same direction as egg collecting. I’ve only known one person who keeps pigeons that doesn’t foam at the mouth when birds of prey are mentioned.
I can relate to all that, Les.
When I came to reside in my current location there were a lot of these pigeon people (tended to be somewhat unsavoury types). Glad to report that there are now very few.
As long as these crimes remain undetected, and no one is brought to justice – they will continue. It is just yet another example of why the current legislation to protect UK wildlife is inadequate.
What is perhaps interesting is that under current legislation-
Firearms Act 1968 S19
It is an offence for a person to have with them in a public place , a loaded shotgun, a loaded air weapon, or any other firearm whether loaded or not, with ammunition suitable for use in that firearm, -without reasonable excuse or lawful authority.
The police have a power of arrest for these offences, and if convicted they all carry potential custodial sentences to one degree or another.
A public place is anywhere to which the public have access, so I assume this includes most of our countryside which is subject to open access, as well as public rights of way across land, footpaths and bridleways.
It is also an offence to discharge any firearm (including air rifles) within 50 feet of the centre of a highway so as to endanger a user of that highway. A highway includes bridleways and public footpaths.
It is an offence to shoot an air weapon so that the pellet goes beyond the boundary of any private property on which the weapon is being used.
The police have the power to demand any person having possession of a firearm in a public place to hand over the weapon and ammunition for inspection. This includes the power to stop and search a vehicle, or enter any place if they have reasonable cause to suspect the person is in possession of a firearm.
The police also have the power to ensure any person in possession of a firearm has the relevant firearms licence, and can seize weapons if this isn’t the case.
BASC advise that any “non-edible quarry should be disposed of discreetly, carefully and should not create a health hazard. This is a legal requirement under legislation covering hazardous waste.” (I have witnessed rabbits being shot and then left to rot)
It seems perfectly reasonable to suspect that on every occasion a wildlife crime is committed using a firearm to cause injury or death to wild bird, then in addition to the specific wildlife offence, a firearms offence has most probably also been committed.(I don’t see how it can be a “reasonable excuse” to be in possession of a firearm to shoot birds of prey or other protected wild creature!!)
The BASC have provided a wealth of information regarding the law and proper conduct when shooting. So there is absolutely no excuse for any firearms user to be breaking the law in relation to their use of a firearm.
It is now perfectly clear that the current wildlife protection legislation is not bringing the wildlife criminals to justice, and that these crimes are perpetually being committed by a class of people who must be under the belief that they will never be caught or face prosecution.
One then does have to wonder why the police haven’t turned to firearms legislation rather than the wildlife legislation to enforce much greater control in the countryside?
This firearms legislation could allow them to challenge those who are in possession of a firearm, (regardless of their occupation), enquire about their intended use of that weapon, verify that that person is fully compliant with firearms law, and ensure that no firearms offences are being committed or are about to be committed.
Proactive enforcement and engagement in areas where raptor persecution offences are taking place might just put the wildlife criminal on the back foot?
If nothing else, it could help the police build up an intelligence picture of just who is at large in the countryside carrying firearms, and thus when the illegal shooting of raptors does occur, provide an indication of just who might be a suspect.
If misuse of firearms took place in an urban setting, such as air weapons being used to cause criminal damage to property, I am sure police response would be swift and robust.
Why is it when the misuse of firearms takes place in the countryside to kill or injure endangered species, so little appears to be done to deal with the issue?
If a person walked through a housing estate carrying a firearm, even in lawful circumstances- I am sure they would be stopped and challenged by the police.
When someone is seen in the countryside in a public place carrying a firearm -what would the police response be?
Is there an assumption that the individual, simply because that person is in a countryside setting isn’t committing potential firearms offences, and therefore doesn’t need to be stopped and spoken to?