[diggers350] Moy Estate raptor poisoning - police swoop

David Bangs dave.bangs at virgin.net
Sat Jun 5 14:32:09 BST 2010

Perhaps 15 years ago I did a (wonderful)  'Mountain Flowers' course at Kindrogan Field Study Centre in the Cairngorms. One of the field trips was to the huge adjacent estate of Julian Amery, the ex-Tory MP for Brighton (my own constituency). Soon after entering the estate we came across a set illegal gin trap. I said "we should report this to the police", but the walk leader said we should not...because the Field Study Centre was dependant upon the goodwill of the estate for access for their study trips. 

Wrongly, I left the issue at that...

Dave Bangs

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tony Gosling 
  To: Massimo 
  Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2010 10:50 AM
  Subject: [diggers350] Moy Estate raptor poisoning - police swoop

  much more on this story here

  Children tracking red kite trigger huge bird poisoning raid by police
  Published Date: 04 June 2010 
  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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