Three More Red Kites Found Dead In Stewartry Area

Police in Dumfries and Galloway are renewing their appeal for information following the discovery of a further three dead red kites in the Stewartry area of the region. Post mortem examinations and subsequent analysis carried out on two of the birds has confirmed that they have also been illegally poisoned. A cause of death for the remaining bird has not yet been established but examinations remain ongoing in this regard.

This now brings the total number of birds which have been poisoned within the region since the beginning of 2018 to four. In January a red kite was discovered in Kirkpatrick Durham and this was followed by the discovery of a buzzard in Mossdale in March. A further two poisoned red kites were discovered in April, one again found at a separate location in Kirkpatrick Durham and the other being discovered near to the Old Bridge of Urr. The remaining red kite, the cause of death for which is yet to be established, was discovered at the end of April at Gelston.

The officer leading the investigation, Specialist Wildlife Crime Officer Constable Alan Steel has stated
“An investigation has been launched and remains ongoing in respect of the deaths of all four birds and we have been working very closely with SAC Consulting (SRUC – Scotland’s Rural Colleges) and Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) to establish as much information as possible relative to the deaths. What we have established is that illegal pesticides have been used to kill four of the birds. The pesticides identified have been banned in the UK for many years but despite this there would still appear to be those who leave out poisoned bait, whether that is to target crows, foxes, raptors or other wildlife.
“The use of such poisoned bait is illegal and totally unacceptable and those responsible should understand that their unlawful activities not only serve to have devastating consequences on their intended targets but also on various other forms of wildlife.
“We are absolutely determined to put a stop to the deaths and apprehend those who are responsible and are currently working with a number of land owners and farmers as well as liaising with the RSPB to share information we have learned relative to each of the deaths.
“We have also carried out a number of land searches in the vicinity of where the birds have been located with a view of trying to locate poisoned bait at these locations. It is anticipated that further land searches will take place in the near future.
“I would urge anybody with any information relative to the deaths of the birds or anybody with knowledge of who may be using illegal pesticides in the Stewartry area to make contact with Police Scotland on 101. Alternatively, if you wish to pass information anonymously, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Image courtesy of D&G Police

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