Moy Estate raptor poisoning - police swoop
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat Jun 5 10:50:29 BST 2010
much more on this story here
Children tracking red kite trigger huge bird poisoning raid by police
Published Date: 04 June 2010
By JOHN ROSS
WILDLIFE crime investigators raided a Scottish estate after
schoolchildren monitoring a rare red kite sparked a major inquiry.
A 45-strong team entered the 25,000-acre Moy Estate, south of
Inverness, yesterday morning following a surveillance operation
lasting several weeks.
A number of poisoned birds of prey, including red kites, sparrowhawks
and merlins, were removed. It was also reportd that a poisoned grouse
carcase had been removed.
One of the recovered red kites had been satellite-tagged and adopted
by children at Carrbridge School who were monitoring its progress
online via the Eyes in the Skies website. Suspicions arose after the
signal from the bird stopped moving.
The joint operation involved 25 officers from Northern Constabulary
as well as investigators from Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB
Scotland, the Scottish SPCA, Scottish Wildlife Crime Unit and the
Scottish Government's Rural Payments Inspectorate.
Outside the estate, Chief Inspector Andrew MacLean, the force's
Inverness area commander, said: "This was an intelligence-led
operation into the deaths of protected birds, including red kites and
other birds of prey which have been found on this estate during the
last month and are known to have been poisoned."
He added: "Wildlife crime is a blight on the environment and a
serious concern to the public.
"Northern Constabulary consider such crime a serious risk to the
safety of the public and have demonstrated today our intention to
rigorously deal with reports of wildlife crime, in particular the
poisoning of wildlife on open ground which is accessible to the public."
Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: "Serious crimes
against our most spectacular birds and wildlife are utterly
deplorable, and do major harm to our reputation as a country that
values and cares for its wildlife and natural environment.
"There is a growing body of compelling evidence which demonstrates
the scale and impact that illegal poisoning is having on the
populations of iconic birds of prey such as the red kite and golden eagle."
A RSPB report in March showed that 27 birds of prey were killed last
year, including golden eagles, buzzards, red kites and a sea eagle.
Last month three golden eagles, a sparrowhawk and buzzard, were found
dead near Skibo Castle in Sutherland amid fears they had been poisoned.
More than 200 Scottish landowners have since called for those
involved in the illegal poisoning of birds of prey to face the "full
weight of the law".
No-one at the Moy Estate was available for comment yesterday.
Douglas McAdam, chief executive of the landowners' group, The
Scottish Rural Property and Business Association, said: "We do not
yet know the full facts of this case. We are appalled none the less
at what appears to be yet further illegal persecution against
Scotland's wildlife, but we do need to await the outcome of the legal
process to determine where guilt lies."
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