Buzzard found on the Montquhanie Estate may have been poisoned.

Fife Police are investigating the suspected poisoning of a buzzard, reports the Fife Partnership against Wildlife Crime, which includes Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The dead buzzard was found by a member of the public close to Lewes Wood on the Montquhanie Estate near Cupar.  Fife Police has confirmed the corpse has been sent for post-mortem examination in an attempt to establish the cause of death and identify the nature of any poison that may have been used.

PC Ian Laing, Wildlife and Environmental Crime Cooordinator, said: “Fortunately, Fife has not experienced raptor poisoning as much as other areas, but this case is a concern. Once we have confirmed the cause of death, we will be able to look at the potential source of any poisons used with a view to tracing those responsible.”

SNH area operations manager, Kath Leys, said: “We’re very concerned about this suspected poisoning case in Fife. Buzzards may be fairly common nowadays, but they’re beautiful birds which are an important part of biodiversity. The Fife Partnership Against Wildlife Crime was set up to help deal with exactly this type of situation, and we and our partners are committed to tackling poisonings and other wildlife crime in the area.”

The find comes during a national Biocide and Pesticide Disposal scheme, aimed at the safe collection and disposal of a variety of potentially poisonous compounds commonly used in agriculture. Many of the chemicals commonly used to poison raptors and other wildlife can be found in and around farm premises, so this scheme will help to remove any unwanted chemicals and prevent them from being improperly used by unscrupulous individuals.

The government-backed scheme, ‘Project Security in the Operational Environment’ (SOE), makes it possible to dispose of any unwanted, out-of-date or revoked biocides and pesticides, for a one-off cost of £20.00. Any farmers, growers, gamekeepers and pest controllers who believe that they may be in possession of such chemicals are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to dispose of dangerous chemicals.

Registration for the scheme opened on Friday, 17 December 2010 and runs until 14 March 2011. Full details are available on the PSOE website.

A PAW Scotland spokesperson said: “PAW Scotland welcomes this scheme and hopes that it will contribute.

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