Another Scottish Golden Eagle found poisoned, say Grampian police.

Grampian police have now launched an investigation into the poisoning of a young golden eagle found dead in March. Toxicology tests have proved positive for a banned pesticide. The satellite-tagged bird was discovered at Glenbuchat estate in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire. Tests have confirmed the death was caused by the illegal pesticide carbofuran.

Golden eagles, along with around 250 other species of wild birds, are protected by government-funded Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The SNH website states that it is an offence to kill, injure or take a wild bird.

Grampian Police launched a joint investigation yesterday with officers from the Scottish Government rural payments and inspections directorate (SGRPID) in connection with the alleged use of banned pesticides.

The operation will be aided by Tayside Police, the National Wildlife Crime Unit, RSPB and the Scottish SPCA.

Constable Dave MacKinnon, wildlife crime officer at Grampian Police, said: “We are always very concerned when illegal pesticides are used in our countryside for the poisoning of birds of prey, but I am particularly disappointed that this incident has resulted in the death of a young golden eagle.

“Our efforts in Scotland and Grampian to eradicate this type of crime over a number of years have been challenging and clearly, with this most recent incident, we still have some way to go.

“Articles have been removed from the estate and are being sent for analysis.

“Nobody has been charged in connection with this incident or other offences but enquiries are continuing.”

Bob Elliot, head of investigations at RSPB Scotland, said: “This highly toxic chemical, which it is illegal to possess, was found to have poisoned this golden eagle.

“Poisoned baits lying out in the countryside are indiscriminate and threaten both pets, domestic livestock and even humans.

“That such potentially lethal activity continues in this day and age is an outrage, and threatens the international reputation of Scotland as a haven for wildlife and iconic species.

“Despite all agencies and partners working together to eradicate these crimes, we do not seem to be witnessing any reduction in this type of offence being committed against our world-renowned wildlife and natural heritage.”

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