Dorset MP Chris Loder doesn’t want Police to investigate suspicious death of white-tailed eagle

Further to yesterday’s news that two reintroduced white-tailed eagles have been found dead in suspicious circumstances on game-shooting estates in southern England and that Dorset Police are investigating the circumstances of the one found in Dorset (here), local conservative MP Chris Loder has made an extraordinary statement on Twitter this morning.

[The dead white-tailed eagle found in Dorset. Photo from Dorset Police]

Here’s his tweet:

Is this guy for real?

This is a suspected wildlife crime of a very serious nature. The three most common methods for killing birds of prey on UK game-shooting estates are shooting, trapping (and then clubbing to death) and poisoning. We don’t know which of these methods, if any, have been deployed in this case but all are potential features of the case. The fact that Dorset Police have stated the eagle has gone for toxicology analysis suggests that poisoning is a possibility.

The poisons most frequently used to kill birds of prey in this country are highly toxic substances – banned in many countries because they’re so dangerous that just a tiny amount is enough to kill a human. The effects of using poisonous baits are indiscriminate. Not only may the baits kill the target species but any other species that happens to come into contact with it, or any pet dog, or any inquisitive human, including a child.

If the eagle has been shot, there’s a dangerous armed individual on the loose in Dorset.

If the eagle has been trapped and clubbed to death, there’s a dangerous psychopath on the loose in Dorset.

Why on earth wouldn’t Mr Loder MP want Dorset Police to spend time and resources investigating this incident?

It wouldn’t have anything to do with the local conservative party receiving donations from a prominent Dorset estate, would it? [Note: I am not in any way suggesting that the donor estate is linked to the death of this eagle, I’m pointing out that on the Parliamentary register of interests Mr Loder has listed substantial party donations from a Dorset estate whose owner appears to be linked to ‘country sports’].

Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team have hit back at Mr Loder:

Mr Loder’s response:

FFS. As if it isn’t difficult enough for under-staffed, under-resourced police officers to investigate wildlife crime. Imagine being on this rural crime team, which, by the way, has a deserved reputation for being diligent and sincere when dealing with alleged raptor persecution crimes, trying to get to the bottom of what will be one of the highest profile cases this year, under huge public pressure to deliver results (quite rightly, IMHO), and the local MP publishes demoralising tosh like this.

I hope his inbox is flooded with complaints.

UPDATE 12th February 2022: Dorset MP Chris Loder’s farming connections may explain his anti-eagle hysteria (here)

UPDATE 14th April 2022: Dorset Police refuse FoI request for correspondence between them and Chris Loder MP on poisoned eagle (here)

67 thoughts on “Dorset MP Chris Loder doesn’t want Police to investigate suspicious death of white-tailed eagle”

  1. Checking out Nhris Loder, I find this “brag” on his website!! – https://www.chrisloder.co.uk/animalwelfarebill:

    Regards, Enid

    On Fri, 11 Feb 2022 at 13:33, Raptor Persecution UK wrote:

    > RaptorPersecutionUK posted: ” Further to yesterday’s news that two > reintroduced white-tailed eagles have been found dead in suspicious > circumstances on game-shooting estates in southern England and that Dorset > Police are investigating the circumstances of the one found in Dorset (her” >

  2. No doubt someone of influence has had a whisper his ear and they don’t want this being investigated to thoroughly never know what it might turn up do we. Just as a point of interest does Mr Loder shoot by any chance and if so where?

  3. Given this thick ( I’m being polite) Tory xxxxxx final tweet if I were the recipient police officer my reply would be somewhat forthright and get me into serious hot water. I’ll assume this is the normal Tory brain dead stupidity and not corruption although of course one never knows. All else you have already said he needs to get up to speed or F88k off.

    1. He could equally be asked whether his stance is his own personal opinion, or whether it reflects official Conservative Party policy.

  4. Omg this is scandalous!! What kind of wierdo doesn’t want to investigate these deaths!! How dare he say they shouldn’t be there when they would of once been!! I’m outraged at his mis guided advice to the Police!! Sack him immediately!!

  5. Says much more about him than any election material ever could. Truth from a Tory, you read it here first folks!

  6. I am shocked over Dorset MP Chris Loder’s response to the killing of the two White-tailed Eagles. Has this MP not been made aware of the plight of the political party he represents over certain members lobbying for various interests, and in his case party donations from a Dorset estate, with connections to blood sports. What right has any landowner or business connected with the shooting of game birds got, in being able to grossly ignore the law regarding the conservation of protected wildlife? To me, very interested in the rule of law being equally applied, with favour, to all who live in the realm of the UK, and not have fiefdoms set aside to do as they will in a medieval world setting. In such a world, if they would have their way of it, people living outside would be peasants and have to touch their forelocks, and allow the droit de seigneur to the local lord of the manor.

    Mr Loder comes out with oldest limp comment to divert attention from the illegal slaying, to cheaply denigrate the Police officers involved in preventing/solving rural crime, by suggesting they would better spend their time on more important issues. Has no one informed that part of his party which thinks that blood sports/trophy shooting/developments here, there and everywhere which are environmentally destructive, are immune to outraged public opinion. A more informed population exists now, and are fully aware of the hiring of agents who adversely comment on anyone advocating a more compassionate way of managing our degraded natural landscapes. Such tactics are thwarted by groups set up to challenge such negativity e.g. Wild Justice and Raptor Persecution UK. Characters such as Mr Loder should look to those of their party who are staunch defenders of wildlife and the humane treatment of animals, and seek out the record of former Glasgow MP, Teddy Taylor, who was very well thought of, and who would unite with Wedgewood Benn, Labour, every time a Bill came up to attack blood sports. Rural crime, I am a landowner, is very serious, and the activities supported by the anachronistic side of the Tory party should realise that shooting estates are very much associated with crime, that is, possibly being responsible for illegal traps, poisons and the shooting/beating to death of protected birds of prey. Gamekeepers are never out of the news on rural crime. MP Chris Loder has made himself look cheap and tawdry in his justification for the slaying of two magnificent birds with every right to live. The hecatomb of game birds is a healthy and compassionate way to find recreation?

  7. Could Mr loder write a list of the birds he wants to see in Dorset and the ones he’d like to be removed, what an ignorant man

  8. This is a disgusting b state of affairs if indeed this beautiful bird has been killed in the name of Pheasant or any other inept killing of birds breeding just to shoot is an act of cruelty in my mind ! I live in a shooting area and these people care about no other animals ! They often come beating in my fields and scare the hell out of my horses . They are not allowed to come in the fields . You hear of these beautiful raptors being persecuted all over . I do hope something will be done it behind an individual or otherwise !

  9. Absolutely disgusted what a strange man he should be removed from his political status and take a trip to mull and watch these magnificent birds in natural surroundings I’m left speechless.

  10. Looking down his Tweets he welcomed Essex police investigating the footballer-kicks-cat issue, so perhaps it’s just wild animals he doesn’t like? Or maybe it is about looking after his chums…..

  11. Superb responses from DPRW&HC. I’d like Dorset Police to do both County Lines and Wildlife Crime enforcement but as their resources have been decimated since 2010, by the MP’s party, they are tested staff-wise in so doing. The tweets show commendable focus and commitment but it’s also a shame that to do the job well, that level of professional charity is required.

  12. Have e-mailed to ask who he is acting on behalf of and is he a member of CA or BASC. I don’t expect a response from this member of the “The People’s Parliament”.

  13. As much as I suspect Rebecca Pow’s recent comments were made to cover up the failings of the government to effectively tackle raptor crime. What Mr Loder has said is completely contrary to Ms Pow’s comment that “This government takes wildlife crime seriously”.

    I wonder if Mr Loder even realises raptor persecution is a national wildlife crime priority?

    What is perhaps even more concerning is that this appears to be an attempt by Mr Loder to influence policing within the county of Dorset.
    Policing priorities and operational decisions are a matter for the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner.
    If Dorset Police have set up a dedicated Rural Crime team, with wildlife crime as one of its remits then that would suggest that Dorset police believe investigating wildlife crimes is a matter which should be taken seriously.

    Mr Loder should perhaps remind himself that in the UK there is a tripartite of justice and it is not for Mr Loder as a politician to meddle in either the role of the police or the courts.
    If this meddling is to try and prevent an investigation which might have implications for any of his associates then that would be a very serious matter indeed.

  14. He has no doubt already realised that he has seriously misjudged his response in this matter. However, if he takes his cue from his party leader following his recent Jimmy Savile gaffe, the last thing we’re going to see is an apology, or even an acknowledgement of his sheer stupidity. Another case to be marked up on the list headed ‘Entitlement’.
    Makes you wonder how many more of these supposed supporters of the law and order party there are out there just waiting for an opportunity to show off their stupidity. I never thought I would see the day when an MP criticised the Police for getting on with their job, especially in a matter which so clearly involves the public interest. He should take due note of the fact that many officers, as here, commit their own time to investigating wildlife issues which might otherwise fall by the wayside. In fact, the very nub on which his assertion rests is an admission that his party is inadequately funding the Police to do their jobs properly – a prime example of Foot in Mouth Disease.

  15. Firstly, a big thanks you to the Dorset Rural Crime team for the work they are doing. We here fully appreciate them! Secondly, Mr Loder’s abrupt, uncaring reply to them seems about par for the course, and maybe it’s not occurred to him that there may well be strong connections between the wildlife crime perpetrators and county lines.

  16. I read this blog with utter disbelief!!!! To take issue with the dedicated police in Dorset takes some gall!! I won’t be writing to my ‘MP(Rob Roberts Delyn…… Look him up you’ll realise why!!) ‘ I’m afraid but will write to this idiot who professes to care about animals and wildlife (cat kicking episode) but doesn’t care about raptors is hypocritical to say the least.

  17. Naturally, I totally disagree with this MP – but how refreshing to have these views out in the open, for criticism and ridicule. Dozens and dozens of (overwhelmingly Conservative) MP’s hold even stronger views, and tacitly support the status quo of the raptor persecution situation regards the interests of game shooting. This is a valuable little glimpse into the mindset of a whole strata of society, and at least it saves the effort of constantly reading between the lines when such people (usually) deploy a bit of guile and craft their double-speak statements with much more skill.

  18. I’ve had a rare ‘trip’ into twitter world and he’s trying to justify his remarks by claiming that sea eagles are a threat to sheep farmers – the basis is a recent Scotsman article that recycles the bleating we’ve been getting from the crofting community that sea eagles are munching up all their lambs. In reply I pasted in this older, revealing article from the Scotsman – https://www.scotsman.com/news/sea-eagles-not-taking-lambs-slaughter-2473455

    1. “Lambs were taken after the study finished in August” How big do these numbwits think eagles are or that they can lift. Where I come from lambs of that potential size disappearing is called rustling!

  19. Having lived in Dorset I can say that it is a strange place and they don’t care for outsiders (who are called Grockles). Dorset Police have a certain reputation and could be twinned with the Met in many ways. The most powerful influence tends to be Freemasonry, so MP and police, plus country estate owner, could be linked this way.

  20. I’m led to believe he has a close affinity with local hunting and shooting interests, surprise, surprise. So it may not be entirely ignorance at all, more an antediluvian mindset after all. Does he not know Raptor persecution is a wildlife crime priority for the police or perhaps he doesn’t care about it as it conflicts with his and his friends Victorian views of the countryside, which ever he is aptly described as a plonker and poltroon.

  21. It is of course a disgrace-a local MP who thinks that the investigation of this [Ed: suspected] wildlife crime should not be undertaken by Dorset Police-and why not , Chris Loder MP ??? -please enlighten me-why is it that in his opinion , he feels that White-Tailed Eagles should not be introduced to Dorset -says it all doesn’t it!. I wonder who or what influenced this MP to make this astonishing statement-surely not the shooting estates!!-perish the thought. It is remarkably sad that non scientific, non evidence based backward, Victorian attitudes persist in some dark corners of the U.K. in the 21st Century-of course the Dorset Police MUST pursue the dangerous cowardly criminals who committed this [Ed: suspected] crime-they are a danger to the public and obviously to wildlife and need to be caught and punished!

  22. Dorset Echo reported Chris Packham’s Tweet:-
    “You couldn’t make it up . . . and you don’t have to . . . as @chrisloder calls upon @dorsetpolice to NOT investigate crime (white-tailed eagles). Not just undemocratic but sinister . I cannot quite believe the disgusting state of some of our elected representatives .”

    I CAN EASILY BELIEVE the disgusting state of some of our elected representatives . We have had long enough experience of these people to enable us to anticipate the worthless input from many of them.
    That includes the sleight of hand from the ventriloquist’s dummies that polish seats in the Holyrood raree-show.

  23. What a moron. If he thinks there’s not enough police to to deal with rural crime, it’s his party that decimated the police as well as everything else they get their hands on!

  24. Maybe the police should spend their time investigating the non partys at downing street a prosecuting the conservate imbeciles including the prime minister who broke the law

  25. Well, that just about sums up the blinkered thinking of this man. He appears once again to be incapable of viewing and considering the bigger picture. This is not just about cruelty to a sentient being although that has to be heinous. This needs addressing, and fast.

  26. Wildlife crime is insidious. It is linked to many other aspects of rural and organised crime. I have dealt with various such crimes in the past with help from colleagues. Policing has always been underfunded. Rural crime especially so. It is a shame that our elected leaders show their ignorance in this fashion. I would suggest he read Wildlife Crime by Mr Dave Dick (RSPB). It would be a start.

  27. A Tory that turns out to be XXXXXXX, and one that doesn’t want to see suspected criminal cases being investigated.

    Sounds familiar!

  28. Loder has let the cat out of the bag: the laws protecting raptors should never be enforced.

    Where once we may only have had suspicions, we now have ‘official’ admittance.

    Loder’s comments must be repeated at every opportunity when it comes to discussions about the failure to halt raptor persecution, about the repeated failures to bring prosecutions, or about the repeated failures of timely public notification of suspected wildlife crimes involving raptors…

    In a way, this is akin to the recent admission about the true nature of trail hunting…

    So, thanks Chris Loder! Let this suspected poisoned White Tailed Eagle become your Albatross around the shooting industry’s neck.

  29. Disgusting approach from an MP. His job is to uphold the law regardless of his own opinion. Wildlife crime is just that CRIME. Well done Dorset police wildlife team I hope you find your culprit.

  30. Saved from making the many points needed to be said, thanks to all the replies here. Basically, what they said! However, it did give me time to remind Chris Loder that criticising the police for upholding the law of our land is not befitting of a representative of our sovereign parliament, neither is using staged film footage for propaganda and that he should consider a change of career before his clangers start to catch up with him.

  31. Our Dorset MP Chris Loder has been at it again. Here he is, peddling the usual rubbish about raptors in the latest copy of The Bridport News (Thur. Feb 17).

    “The number of white-tailed eagles has boomed in areas where they have been released. In Scotland, for example, farmers’ and crofters’ healthy sheep being attacked and killed by these giant birds of prey…. We’re approaching peak lambing season already and every year we see new born lambs with their eyes pecked out in minutes by these birds…” etc etc.!

    Perhaps you would like to send a letter to the editor to rebut his lies? Or send me the ammo and I’ll willingly write one myself.

    In haste,

    Brian J.

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