Numbers of Raptors confirmed poisoned in Scotland in 2011 down by 50%

The drop in poisoning incidents throughout Scotland comes before new laws making landowners liable for persecution undertaken by their gamekeepers. There were 10 poisoning incidents in 2011 involving 16 dead birds of prey, roughly half the 22 incidents recorded the year before, which involved 28 deaths by poisoning.

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Red Kite with Chicks

Last year saw a sharp fall in the number of illegally poisoned birds of prey in Scotland, in advance of tough new laws making landowners liable for persecution by their gamekeepers.

The latest map of poisoning locations released by the Scottish government on Wednesday showed that there were 10 incidents in 2011 involving 16 dead birds of prey, roughly half the 22 incidents recorded the year before, which involved 28 deaths by poisoning. The full article published in the Guardian can be read here.

Of course the reduced figures published today by the Scottish Government could be misleading as estates, in particular their gamekeepers, become more adapt at concealing any evidence. The Scottish Highlands are very extensive and very remote in places, concealing poisoned, trapped or shot raptors would not be very difficult and from experience Highland gamekeepers in particular are canny individuals. Let us also not forget these individuals like their English counterparts are out and about almost 24/7, it is because of this that finding any persecuted bird is almost impossible without that bit of luck brought about by the negligence of one or two gamekeepers.

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