A multi-agency search took place in Shropshire yesterday as part of the ongoing investigation in to the suspected poisoning of a peregrine earlier this year.
You may recall the very prompt appeal for information made by West Mercia Police in May (see here) after the corpse of a female peregrine had been found, along with a suspected pigeon bait, at the notorious raptor persecution blackspot of Clee Hill.
[This is a photograph of another peregrine found poisoned at this site in 2017 (see here). Photo by RSPB]
Toxicology results are apparently still pending on this latest case but given the long history of poisoned peregrines at this site, and the discovery of yet another baited pigeon, it’s more than likely that this latest peregrine victim had also been illegally poisoned.
No doubt this is what prompted the police-led search at a premises yesterday, assisted by experts from Natural England, the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the RSPB Investigations team. The investigation continues.
[Photo via West Mercia Police]
This is at least the 5th multi-agency search in England this year, all in response to raptor persecution crimes. On 15th March 2021 there was a raid in Lincolnshire (see here), on 18th March a raid in Dorset (here), on 26th March a raid in Devon (see here) and on 21st April a raid in Teesdale (here). And now this raid in Shropshire.
Worryingly, all of these cases have involved the confirmed / suspected use of banned poisons to kill birds of prey.
Well done to all the agencies involved in these follow-up investigations. It’s good to see genuine partnership-working in the fight to catch the raptor killers.