Specialist Wildlife Crime Officer Constable Alan Steel from Police Scotland is appealing for information following the discovery of a dead red kite in the Durham Hill Lane area, Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas, on Saturday 20 January 2018 by a member of the public. A subsequent post-mortem examination of the bird now indicates that it had been poisoned and enquiries are currently underway in relation to the circumstances surrounding the death of the bird.

Constable Steel said “due to the inherent scavenging nature of red kites, they are particularly vulnerable to the illegal use of poisonous bait. We are working closely with partner agencies including the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Red kites are legally protected and Police Scotland takes wildlife crime very seriously and will work with partners to ensure that those responsible are pursued with a view to bringing them to justice.
“I am appealing to anyone who may have any information which might assist us in this investigation to call me on the 101 number, quoting reference number PDG 0014800118. I would also like to stress that in a case like this, any piece of information, no matter how small or how insignificant it might seem, can be an important piece to the whole picture of the investigation.”
Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland’s Head of Investigations said: “Numbers of detected cases of illegal poisoning of our birds of prey have, thankfully, been very low in recent years, so this case is of serious concern. The Galloway Red Kite trail, just a few miles from where this bird was killed, is a popular tourist attraction and of great benefit to the local economy. The indiscriminate use of illegal poisons doesn’t just affect wildlife but is a significant risk to pets and people as well, and we join with the police in asking that anyone who can provide information about this incident comes forward.”

Image Courtesy Police Scotland

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