Wild Justice partners with RSPB to offer £10,000 reward for info on five shot goshawks

Further to the news that Suffolk Police have found five shot goshawks, dumped at the edge of the King’s Forest near Thetford (see here), conservation campaign group Wild Justice has partnered with the RSPB to increase the reward for information from £5,000 (here) to £10,000 (see here).

The five shot goshawks found by Suffolk Police on Monday 16th January 2023

In a statement, Wild Justice said:

We are sick to the back teeth of the relentless illegal persecution of birds of prey in the UK, which is mostly associated with land managed for gamebird shooting, be that red grouse, pheasants or partridges. Indeed, it was our strength of feeling about raptor persecution, and our frustration at the failure of the Westminster and the devolved governments to tackle it effectively, that led to us founding Wild Justice in 2018. In partnership with the RSPB, we hope this substantial reward will encourage someone to come forward with information about whoever was responsible for this heinous crime, and that that information leads to a successful conviction“.

If you have any information, please call Suffolk Police on 101 and quote crime reference 37/3027/23. Alternatively, to get in touch anonymously, call the RSPB’s dedicated Raptor Crime Hotline on 0300 999 0101.

The BBC News website has picked up the news of this increased reward here and the Suffolk Live website has written about it here.

UPDATE 19th January 2023: Crowdfunder launched to increase reward for information on five shot goshawks found in Suffolk (here)

15 thoughts on “Wild Justice partners with RSPB to offer £10,000 reward for info on five shot goshawks”

    1. Surely persecution of any wild bird regardless of species is wrong. No point arguing whether goshawks or buzzards. Sickening whatever species.

  1. Thank you so much for this WJ. If the reward is claimed I’ll be the first to help contribute to your cost.

  2. The BBC have, indeed, covered it in their ‘local’ news section… but the opening statement is a bit weird: “Wildlife officers are calling on the shooting community to “protect its reputation” after five birds of prey were found “dumped” in a forest.”

    That sounds a defensive statement from the ‘Wildlife officers’, does it not? A call for the shooters to defend themselves? How?

    However, what the ‘Wildlife officers’ tweeted was: “Here’s a chance for the shooting community to protect its reputation & future. Do the right thing. Tell us who shot these 5 young #goshawks”

    Doesn’t that have a dramatically different ring to it? Doesn’t that implicate the shooting community, rather than appear to call for it to defend itself?

    Why would any competent journalist change the sense in such a way? But the rest of the report was OK…

  3. I presume the photo is actually how these birds were found. If so whoever shot them then dumped the bodies is either fairly sure they can get away with anything, or an idiot. The main reason for raptor persecution is of course financial so fingers crossed this will turn the tables back onto the perpetrators. In fact it may be one of the ways forward. Crowdfunding to come up with a significant reward for info leading to prosecution. As Paul says above ” If the reward is claimed I’ll be the first to help contribute to your cost.” OK I have to be second now but there are lots of us out here!

    1. Agreed, crowdfunding can get things done that individuals can’t. And yes, there are a lot more of us than them.

  4. Falconers were largely responsible for the reintroduction of the goshawk into the UK.
    We too are appalled by the death of these magnificent accipiters and I will personally add £1,000 to the reward fund.

  5. Good for the RSPB. Disgusting that these appalling deaths are still happening. Some very inhuman, inhumane people out there.

  6. Interesting comment on the BBC Regional news for Suffolk, that there is “speculation the dead birds may have been kept in frozen storage” due to it being so unusual to see several Goshawks together.
    This could suggests the perpetrator or perpetrators may have shot the birds at different times, stored the dead birds and then dumped them on mass as some form of gesture to those involved in raptor conservation.
    If this is the case, it also suggests planning and premedition.
    It is just a hypothesis but could the perpetrator be some who has recently been investigated or prosecuted for wildlife crimes, or someone who bears a malevolent disposition towards raptors and those who seek to protect them?
    I am sure a criminal psychologist would probably have some interesting thoughts on this matter.
    I really hope someone comes forward with information to help the police prosecute whoever committed this awful crime. But my gut feeling is that there will be a wall of silence, as if the perpetrator is identified as having links with the game shooting industry, it will not be something the industry wants to acknowledge, as it will just further weight as to why game shooting needs to be strictly regulated.
    However, if the organisations which represent the game shooting industry really want the public to believe their claims of zero tolerance to raptor persecution then helping the police bring the offender or offenders to justice might be a better option, as the Tweet from Suffolk police would suggest suspicion at the moment is that the death of these birds is linked to game shooting.

  7. I agree with John L in that it would be unlikely for 5 goshawks to be shot at the same time and location. I imagine these would have been shot over a period of time and at different locations. Quite why someone would store the bodies and leave them all in one place is open to speculation. It is the action of a truly sick mind but that seems to be the norm for the sick people who commit these crimes.

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