Police Scotland has finally confirmed that three dead buzzards found in bags on Millden Estate had been shot with a shotgun.
The corpses were discovered during the joint SSPCA/Police Scotland raid on Millden Estate in October 2019 in relation to wildlife crimes committed by depraved gamekeeper Rhys Owen Davies, who was recently sentenced to jail for his role in a hideous gang of animal abusers (see here).
However, the discovery of the dead buzzards was not made public and I spent two and a half years trying to get an update from Police Scotland about the status of the investigation. At the end of the 2.5 years, I was told that I’d have to speak to the Crown Office, which I did in July 2022, and the Crown Office confirmed there were no prosecutions on the table for these crimes, and it also carefully avoided providing any specific details about the dead raptors (see here).
[An illegally shot buzzard. Not one of the ones found on Millden Estate]
Thanks to a blog reader, an FoI request was submitted to Police Scotland in July 2022 to ask for details of the shot buzzards. Here is Police Scotland’s response:
The fact there won’t be a prosecution for these three shot buzzards won’t be a surprise to anybody who has followed these sort of wildlife crime investigations for any length of time. The police can’t prove who shot the buzzards and dumped them in bags – I wonder whether any forensic work was undertaken?
Nevertheless, I hope that now we have police confirmation that the buzzards had been shot, paperwork will have been passed by the police to NatureScot to allow NatureScot to consider imposing a General Licence restriction on this Angus Glens estate – long overdue in my opinion, especially when you know what else has been uncovered on Millden Estate over many, many years.