Police seek walkers’ help after red kite poisoned in Yorkshire

Police in North Yorkshire are appealing for help from walkers after the discovery of a rare bird of prey that had been found poisoned. The female red kite was discovered by a member of the public in a wood at Lindley Green, north of Otley. Although the bird has two shotgun-pellet wounds, police said these were not the cause of death.

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The poisoning continues despite what the Minister for the Environment & Fisheries had to say about England’s strong wildlife legislation. When will the Rt Hon. Mr Benyon MP take action to stop these offences as he promised?

Numbers of birds of prey found shot or poisoned in England in the last two months.

  1. one shot buzzard

  2. one poisoned buzzard

  3. three poisoned peregrines

  4. four poisoned goshawks

  5. one poisoned red kite

  6. one shot marsh harrier

  7. one poisoned raven

After an inconclusive post-mortem examination, tissue samples from the kite were sent to the Central Science Laboratory for toxicology tests. The results showed the bird had been poisoned by the banned pesticide carbofuran and rat poison.

PC Gareth Jones, wildlife-crime officer for Harrogate District, said: “This case demonstrates that bird of prey persecution in North Yorkshire is still occurring.

“This truly magnificent bird has been shot at and survived, then eaten carcasses of poisoned rats and mice which have not been correctly disposed of, before ultimately being poisoned using a banned pesticide.

The poisoned bird“The persecution of these rare birds must stop and the North Yorkshire Police wildlife team is dedicated to protecting these and all other wild creatures throughout the county.”

Carbofuran is a commonly abused pesticide which has been used in a number of bird of prey persecution cases in the UK. As a result, its use was banned in 2001.

Numbers of red kite were severely depleted late last century. A programme of reintroduction across Britain has been successful and over the last five years the birds have settled in the Craven area of North Yorkshire, which has a favourable habitat for red kites.

PC Jones added: “After attracting the birds back to our area it is important to protect the species and enjoy having them here.

“If anyone knows anything about this particular case or any other instances of persecution of this type, please get in touch with the police.”

PC Jones can be contacted via the police non-emergency number 0845 6060247 or information can be given anonymously on the Crimestoppers number 0800 555111.


1 comment to Police seek walkers’ help after red kite poisoned in Yorkshire

  • Jock Scott

    I think it may be prudent to point out that this incident is not recent.
    It actually happened 2 years ago and was widely reported in Oct 2009