RSPB ‘completely baffled’ by Dorset Police decision to prematurely end poisoned eagle investigation

Further to the news that Dorset Police has announced it has closed its investigation into the poisoned white-tailed eagle that was found on a shooting estate in January 2022 (see here and here), the RSPB has released a statement:

This story is a long way from over….

UPDATE 16.40hrs: Question to be tabled in House of Lords about Dorset Police’s decision to close eagle poisoning investigation (here)

18 thoughts on “RSPB ‘completely baffled’ by Dorset Police decision to prematurely end poisoned eagle investigation”

  1. The stench of corruption wafting over Dorset… residents might want to close their doors and windows…

  2. Well done to the RSPB for this strong statement. Perhaps there is a case for Wild Justice to seek a Judicial Review of this decision. I would be prepared to help crowd fund such an appeal!

      1. An excellent idea.
        Perhaps a complaint could be initiated by Forestry England or the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation who run the conservation project to introduce sea eagles on the Isle of White?
        As the complaint could involve an allegation of serious corruption by Dorset police, then there would be a statutory referral of the matter to the IOPC, and Dorset police’s own professional standards department wouldn’t be able to investigate internally.
        (the story has now made it into mainstream national media- and some of the coverage has been written in such a way, that it also raises questions about just why this investigation has been terminated so prematurely)

  3. Well we can’t be far from the point where Joe Public starts taking the law into their own hands. What a desperate situation we are now in and what a low point for the Police. Without checks and leadership from Government this is surely how things start to fall apart and we move closer to a lawless society

  4. This is a wanton dereliction of duty on behalf of Dorset Police. We cannot allow wildlife legislation to be ignored or sidelined. Would it be possible for Wild Justice to undertake a private prosecution? I would certainly be happy to contribute to any such appeal.

  5. So which estate was it ? Surely someone will blow the whistle ? In the meantime it is not difficult to speculate on some who might be prepared to use undue influence.

  6. So much for this government’s promises to strengthen and protect our wildlife and environmental laws.
    All they do each time it is reviewed is weaken it it would seem.

  7. The decision by Dorset police to close this investigation at this stage and take no further action despite the eagle being found with elevated levels of brodifacoum seems to be completely at odds with the fact that raptor persecution is supposed to be a national wildlife crime priority.
    From other reports regarding the illegal killing of other eagles, poison would seem to be a frequent way these birds are illegally killed. That in itself should have been sufficient grounds to raise suspicion that a crime may have been committed and for the police to investigate further.
    Without proper investigation, how can Dorset police state with any conviction, whether the poisoning of this eagle was a deliberate act or accidental as a result of secondary poisoning?
    Since raptor persecution is a national wildlife crime priority, shouldn’t Dorset police at least have a duty to establish whether a crime has been committed or not?
    If there is evidence to indicate that no crime has been committed, then wouldn’t that have been the time to close the investigation?
    If evidence exists that crime has been committed then is it not reasonable to expect further enquiries would be carried out to try and identify the criminals?
    The fact that it would seem that Dorset police prematurely cancelled a planned search on the estate where the eagle was found in order to look for evidence which may have helped establish whether the poisoning of the eagle was a deliberate act or not appears highly suspicious.
    What makes this even more concerning is that from the outset the Dorset MP Chris Loder has been openly stating that the investigation into the death of this eagle is something the police should not be investigating. Why?

    The Chief Constable of Dorset police has some serious questions to answer.
    Is there any association between the estate where the eagle was found and Chris Loder, or members of Dorset police?
    What communication has there been between Chris Loder and Dorset police regarding this investigation?
    What was the rationale for closing this investigation prior to conducting searches on the estate where the eagle was found?
    Without conducting those searches how are Dorset police in a position to state whether a crime has been committed or not?
    Was the purpose of cancelling those searches done with the intention of ensuring no evidence would be found to help establish whether a crime had been committed? And if so, was that so Dorset police wouldn’t be put in a position where they could have been investigating persons with an association to Mr Loder or Dorset police?

    These are serious matters, which have the potential to undermine public confidence in the police.

    Whilst it is helpful that Natalie Bennett intends to raise the matter in the House of Lords, I also hope that Rebecca Pow, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Nature Recovery and the Domestic Environment) will be asking questions and making a statement regarding this matter. (I won’t hold my breath!!)

    The public rightly expects honesty, openness and transparency from its police service and politicians. At the moment, and without further explanation, the decision to close this investigation appears anything but.

    (Hopefully some investigative journalists from national mainstream media will also show an interest in this story, otherwise I suspect there will be a deathly silence, whilst some people hope that the matter simply goes away!)

  8. I hope that Wild Justice consult with their legal team over this. I would be happy to contribute funds again.

  9. Appalling state of affairs. Something stinks to high heaven. What on earth are the police up to?

  10. [Ed; thanks, Pip. I’d also heard that but can’t publish it without further verification. I may have it by the end of the week]

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