Third Red Kite found dead Nr. Rutland in Leicestershire, possibly Poisoned

With recent words of comfort from the Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries Mr Richard Benyon still fresh in our ears claiming “there are very good laws in place to punish the illegal killing of any animal. If they are not being effectively enforced, they must be and we will take steps to make sure that happens.” This may be so, but the laws it would appear that Mr. Benyon was speaking about are almost useless unable to prevent the illegal persecution of England’s raptors despite the Minister tough claims.

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Today we learn of the death of a Red Kite at Glaston, Nr Rutland in Leicestershire. Two additional Red Kites were found poisoned in the same area in 2008. So far despite police enquiries into these incidents, no one has been brought into court to face criminal proceedings for these deaths.  

The latest dead Red Kite was discovered on farm land by the landowner who reported his discovery to the local police. It is suspected ,but not proven, the latest victim had also been poisoned. Toxicology tests are ongoing. The third Red Kite found dead in Leicestershire mirrors the three dead Red Kites found poisoned and shot in Cumbria since 2010. This year in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland 74% of all peregrine territories failed with several pairs of breeding falcons disappearing altogether, leaving just 6 productive nests. If these appalling figures leave no impression on the Minister’s principles, then surely the fact that there were only four productive hen harrier nest in the whole of England this season should. It was significant all four harrier territories were restricted to just a single moorland estate once again. Wildlife legislation  working well it would seem in England Mr. Benyon!

Red kites were introduced into this area in 1995 and despite being a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act they are still being targeted by criminals all across the country as far away as Cumbria. There are currently about 100 birds in the Rutland area.

Red Kites are carrion eaters, scavenging for dead animals at the side of the road or in fields. We do not accept that Red Kites are being killed in any number by accident by poisons left for rodents or other animals.

Leicestershire police’s wildlife officer Neil Hughes said: “I am 99 per cent sure that this bird was poisoned because of the type of animal it is and the nature of its death.

“I need help from members of the public to determine whether any other animals in the area have been poisoned in a similar way, even cats and dogs.” To report any incidents call Neil on 0116 222 2222

In appears Wildlife Crime in Scotland is now being taken far more seriously than in England. The Scottish Government have just announced that two prosecutors assigned to tackle wildlife crime have been appointed. Read the complete story here.

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