Greater Manchester Police investigate Buzzard shot in the head Nr Bolton

Police in Greater Manchester are investigating after a protected species of bird was shot dead in Bolton. At about 8pm on 25 June 2013, police were called to Salford Road at its junction with St Helens Road after a dog walker found a dead buzzard in a nearby field. Officers attended and the bird was recovered.

X-rays later confirmed the bird had some sort of projectile lodged in its brain likely to have been fired from a rifle.

The buzzard was given protected species status in 1954 and therefore anyone found to be shooting these birds is liable to prosecution.

Police Constable Randolph Lyle said: “Shooting game is a popular sport in this country and there are a lot of people who own legitimate firearms to shoot certain types of bird lawfully and in compliance with the terms and conditions of a general licence issued by the Government.

“However, the buzzard has enjoyed protected species status for more than 50 years because these birds are rare, and therefore shooting and killing one can have a devastating impact on their habitat and biodiversity.

“People who do have legitimate and lawful firearms are normally extremely careful about what birds they hunt and it would be unfair to tarnish these people because of one incident. But equally there are those that do fool around recklessly and in doing so may be shooting at birds not knowing their exact species, and that is something we need to stop.

“The buzzard is a protected species and therefore anyone found to be deliberately shooting at these birds of prey will face prosecution.

“I would appeal to anyone who has information about this incident to come forward. If you were in the area and saw people firing rifles or other weapons, then please come forward.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 5578 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Footnote.

In 2011 Raptor Politics reported the shooting dead of three peregrine chicks in a quarry near Bolton, despite investigation by Greater Manchester Police into this incident, so far no one has been charged with this crime.

Read the full sickening story here

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