Gloucestershire Police appeal for info after goshawk found shot in Forest of Dean

Press release from Gloucestershire Constabulary (13th June 2022)

Appeal for information after birds of prey are found dead in the Forest of Dean

Officers are appealing for information after two birds of prey were found dead in the Forest of Dean.

A Goshawk and Sparrowhawk were found next to a bus stop just south of Aylburton near Lydney on the A48 by a member of the public on Monday 25 April.

The male Goshawk was just under 17-years-old and X-rays show that the bird had been shot with a shotgun.

The cause of death has not yet been established for the male Sparrowhawk however post mortems will take place for both birds. 

[The shot goshawk. Photos via Gloucestershire Constabulary]

PC Cath McDay said: “This is an awful crime under the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981, to truly special birds

The Goshawk had managed to live to an exceptional age only for his life to be ended like this.”

Enquiries are ongoing and investigating officers are asking anyone with information on the incident to please get in contact.

Information can be submitted by completing the following form online and quoting incident number 130 of 25 April:    

Alternatively, you can call 101 and quote the same incident number or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


6 thoughts on “Gloucestershire Police appeal for info after goshawk found shot in Forest of Dean”

  1. Absolutely gutted….one of my favourite birds along with Kestrels, but since my love for raptors is al inclusive, I’m not sure how much more I can read without saying, doing something I may regret. I’ve already had to take a bit of sabbatical from reading these emails, saving them to a folder for a time when I know I can manage to read them with some control of emotion. But this…’s just so utterly heartbreaking that I suspect I will be taking another wee break. My own life experience with how the hunting culture I was raised with in the US vs UK is so different; as the US respect and awe for birds of prey, and contempt for canned hunts” but the UK, whilst agreeing with the call for banned mass hunts, fox hunts etc. It’s still hard to explain that SOME controlled hunts, for proper wildlife balance management, the pot, and with respect can still occur, and hard to fully support groups calling for a complete blanket ban on all hunting. The level of deer in Michigan, with the thousands of deer car accidents, crops damage and overwhelming destruction, along with people raised preferring version over farmed meat, requires considered management, with DNR officers and legitimate statistics controlling the amount of hunting licenses to herd management ratio by county, not just state. Hunter safety classes required by law, but many clubs embrace north American Indian ethics and respect for wildlife as priority with nothing going to waste, nor ANY animal taken/killed for anything less than a need, necessary act. If anyone were to be caught killing a bird of prey in the US, even during hunting or harvest, the consequences they would face from their peers is infinitely MUCH more frightening than they would face with the very strict, harsh criminal laws and repercussions. I would dare suggest that I wish we had a similar dedicated wildlife police/officers on par with DNR officers, who hold the same powers as all police, have dedicated wildlife science, professionals etc. As such a team would and should be supported here I believe. The removal of the officer re the Sea Eagle episode is indicative of only one way how politics interfere, and that is even more disturbing, as whilst it broke my heart, it also showed more than anything that we NEED a separate dedicated, equally empowered force, void of any other political or outside influence, to achieve any change. What is apparent is that some in our nation have such a shameful disregard for our wildlife, protected or not, and the higher the power/politician influence, the more it is covered up. Unless we do something to demand a fully separate force, we too have our hands as tied as that officer has. My problem is I am still learning the intricacies of the legal system, forces, enforcement, etc as well as what it would take, HOW we can go about to make changes. 20yrs here and I am still learning, deliberately focused on how to implement the sort of changes we all seem to agree we need. Unfortunately whilst I am still learning, I am keeping a low profile, because as much as I admire Chris and other amazing wild life advocates, I don’t always agree with him on everything, ie banning all hunts; as I am more focused on solutions that can bring change, based on realistic, not just emotional facts, something that needs open dialog and ideas…banning something completely has never worked, history proves it, from alcohol prohibition in the US to guns in the UK, there are always some who will evade it, rightly or wrongly, but also, many such events have proven to be a failure, balance is what is needed. That said, Even now I am debating how long it will take for me to possibly delete this comment, because my disability makes it hard for me to articulate, and filter my thoughts into words and speak so plainly that nuances are missed. So let me say this, I Adore my beloved adopted UK, I sold, left my own guns before moving here in spite of being told I could legally retain them. I only own a small air rifle for farm pest (rats) that hasn’t been out of its case in years now. I respect, admire and support THIS blog and it’s much needed information, ideals and goals to stop the disgusting, vile, repulsive criminal acts towards this much beloved creature and others. It’s for that reason I still remain devoted to supporting it, even if I don’t agree with any/Everyone, I agree with enough of it to make a difference, and hopefully the hard work being done by the author and supporters, will one day force through the changes so badly needed…Even if some also turn out to be a few unexpected, different ones than originally imagined. As always, warmest regards and karma hugs…R Elizabeth

    1. “banning something completely has never worked, history proves it, from alcohol prohibition in the US to guns in the UK”

      Pretty terrible example, given the deaths per capita from guns in the UK vs the US. In fact, you’ve just completely disproven your own argument with that. There are multiple examples of successful bans, which have had an extremely positive result. One that immediately comes to mind is the CFC ban, without which we almost certainly would have been headed for imminent climate breakdown. History is full of examples that completely disprove your argument. Just because there are outliers, i.e. people who break the law, is irrelevant.

      1. You mistake my meaning. When the US put a ban on semi auto assault weapons, THAT worked! And when it was left to expire, well we’ve seen sadly the result of that. What I meant was having an complete blanket ban on things without consideration of the public in general and potential backlash, would be detrimental to what we want to achieve. This also highlights the last part of my post when I explain that being limited due to a brain injury of ability to share thoughts sans filters, hoping some could discern between the lines what I was trying to say. You make valid points, and am glad to try and address them. I don’t think we are opposed to each other, just only my way of expressing is a fragile one. Warm regards. r Elizabeth

      2. Ps…I will forever share the story of when my daughter, in school in the US (her choice to finish) called me on our nightly call…and her words I will never forget, because my heart hit the floor, only seconds before my knees hit it…”Mum…we had our first school shooting drill today”….make of that what you will…but as a parent, I pleaded every night with her to come home to me in the UK…her brave determination to continue to follow her education dreams I respect…but it will never erase the heartache of every single night phone call, i wondered if it would be my last. I was Born/raised, raised my kids in the US a hunting culture…but I KNEW when that gun culture ruined wrong. So no one could ever accuse me of NOT being aware, and in full knowledge of how badly the gun culture ruined everything from a decent family hunting ethics to a pissed of kid with access to his daddy’s guns and political twisted views. There is NO better place in the world right now to raise a safe family than the UK. And I will defend that until the day I die.

      3. I’ve had my wee sabbatical but when I finished my post today, I still was left reflecting on your response to this one, because I DO pay attention to what others share with me, and I reflect on how I may have either worded something differently (because I agree with all you said), or whether I need to ask for more advice, information, to make a better informed opinion. Because that is all I consider my posts to be, is an opinion. Your post remained with me for many days, and actually made enough of an impact for me to try and be very careful how I worded my post today. We ARE on the same side, and my thought re my post and your response applies to “banning” things, and this is where I/we had a misunderstanding. My admission that I left my own guns behind in spite of being allowed to retain them legally is an example of one of my ‘misunderstood statements’ because the UK does NOT have a blanket ban on guns, and for that you were correct that I didnt clarify that better. the UK actually has a significant amount of LEGALLY held guns, and I appreciate the laws of gun control here SO much that I often use our example, and share on my social media with my former US home, of not only the benefits of our gun control laws, but how just ONE catastrophic event (Scotland) can impact the public so much, that we were happy to implement new laws making it harder, strict, but it was NOT a full blanket ban. Again, my apologies, my bad for not being clearer on this, I often use MANY UK examples shared to my US mates, because they are right, civilised, fair, and NOT, contrary to propaganda, a nation devoid of guns…we just have much better laws, akin w/o what the US had in the 80s when I was raising my kids on our own land, self sufficient. The laws there have deteriorated so much, that when the ban on semi auto/high magazine assault type guns was lifted, chaos ensued and look where it is now. Even Australia has better gun laws, indeed, every nation in the WORLD has better gun laws! We should be proud of the example we set, and only hope one day the US will wake up. A fave story I often share (yes another) is that in 2010 I found (kept, made several copies and STILL post!) Of how the US had police come to the UK (Scotland) for a training exercise following our OWN methods of not just “police by consent’ but how to de-escalate, disarm, engage and be able to work in a scenario with OUT needing to ‘shoot first ask questions water’s and as someone with family in the state police dept, it’s often a topic of conversation shared when some ejit spouts about our ‘worthless unarmed police’…conveniently forgetting the devastating accounts and stats of people, officers and public, lost daily, because they are too bloody stubborn to even consider a new different, tried and true method that the UK has successfully maintained for years. Yes we still have illegal guns on the streets, more lately, and to my dismay, it’s often Americans who were caught/convicted for being the importers..shame shame shame. I adore my adopted, ancestral UK and almost 99.99999% of everything it stands for. I would like it with a tweak or two obviously re citizens having more power to elect judges, police chiefs (NOT commissioner)prosecutors, and will always advocate for a separate, devolved wildlife crime force who answer to their own chief and the public;) I hope this has shed more light on what my prior post meant, and my genuine attention given to your post. Once again I suspect longer that usual (hard to tell with a tiny box not shown more than a couple lines). But I still hope that my thoughts being shared, even whilst not often, are considered by others with the same sort of thoughtfulness, the same that I have made an effort to give all others. Warm regards as always, and especial thanks to RP and all who support this very important, and amazing group of people, we couldn’t have come as far as we have without them, and unable to further either. They who devote their time, effort and lives to this cause are the unsung hero’s, and we need more of them:) cheers R Elizabeth

  2. Dreadful crime. Someone must know who the perpetrator might have been.
    Wildlife crime must be stopped.

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