Tip-Off led to West Cumbrian man’s arrest on suspicion of killing Red Kites – guns & illegal poisons seized

[singlepic id=204 w=358 h=236 float=left]Cumbria police officers from the force wildlife crime team together with partners from Natural England and National Wildlife Crime Officer Andy McWilliam today, Tuesday 5 July carried out a search warrant of a farm in the Ulverston area. The search was in relation to illegally held poisons; during  the raid a number of firearms and illegally held poisons were seized.

The warrant came about as a result of enquiries which have been made into the illegal poisoning and shooting of Red Kites. A number of illegal poisons and pesticides have been found and removed from the farm and several firearms have also been seized. One man has been arrested on suspicion of poison and firearms offences and on suspicion of intentionally killing a protected wild bird.

A Cumbria police spokesman said: “A search of this type is a hazardous undertaking, the police officers and partners were working under strict health and safety guidelines to avoid contamination from the poisons sought.” The items removed from the farm will be safely disposed of by Natural England.

PC John Baldwin, Wildlife Crime Officer said: “These are examples of poisonous substances that used to be lawful to buy and use for pest control.

“For good reasons these have been illegal to buy, possess and use for many years now, the items that may still be on farms could be unstable, the containers may have corroded and could be hazardous to human and animal health.[singlepic id=191 w=300 h=400 float=right]

“It’s desirable that these items are removed and made safe. Anyone who thinks that they might have poison which falls under this description should contact Natural England on 0300 0600 039.”

The poisons sought are Strychnine, Cyanide and Bendiocarb however advice can be given on any chemical.

Additional Footnote.

Tip-off from Raptor Politics leads to arrest.

In February Raptor Politics published details relating to a conversation which had been over heard between several men plotting to kill red kites recently released into the Lake District National Park. The pub plotters had been over heard in the greyhound pub at Grizebeck near to Ulverston where yesterdays arrest took place. The details of the conversation over-heard was immediately passed on by Raptor Politics to the Cumbrian Constabulary. The full story published by Raptor Politics can be read here:  http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2011/02/13/cumbrian-pub-plotters-plan-to-shoot-red-kites/

Since the first batch of 30 red kites were reintroduced into Cumbria in August 2010, 10% have been found dead; two birds were found shot and one bird poisoned.

Raptor Politics would like to send congratulations to the Cumbrian Constabulary, especially to their Wildlife Crime Officer PC John Shaw who initially responded to Raptor Politics confirming the matter would be fully investigated.. well done keep up the good work. I am sure all of our readers are now hoping there will be a successful prosecution with an appropriate penalty, not just a few hundred hours community service



5 comments to Tip-Off led to West Cumbrian man’s arrest on suspicion of killing Red Kites – guns & illegal poisons seized

  • John Miles

    Congratulations to Raptor Politics. As seen before it is well known that many police forces read this blog and this time they have reacted to great tip off. Now to clean up the rest of these murderers in Cumbria!

  • Keith Fitton

    Excellent news. A good result so far – whatever happens next. Well done to Raptor politics and John Shaw. Speaking as a Cumbrian I am delighted by the efforts of the local constabulary and Natural England working in difficult conditions. Let’s keep it going!

    • Terry Pickford, North West Raptor Protection Group

      This is indeed very good news, and yes the Cumbrian Constabulary and all involved should be given a huge amount of credit for a job well done. It’s now up to the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts to make sure if anyone is successfully prosecuted the penalty decided upon should fit the seriousness of this crime. If the police prove any offences were committed, including who killed just one of the red kites, the court has the power to hand down a £5000 fine and up to six months in prison for killing the red kite alone.

      What is the point of handing down a few hundred hours community service, no one will learn any lessons from penalties like that. Wildlife should be regarded as a valuable and finite state resource, a resource which unfortunately far too many people take for granted.

      The red kite in Cumbria became extinct at the end of the 18th Century due to man’s stupidity, ignorance, greed and intolerance. If history is not going to repeat itself, the courts should impose the kind of penalty our law makers intended as an appropriate deterrent in order to prevent this kind of criminal activity in the first place. If our courts don’t use the tools provided to them to prevent such crimes, why do we have wildlife legislation in the first place?

  • David Howson

    I can’t describe my anger at these imbeciles. It’s hard to describe the joy I felt when I saw my first Red Kite about three miles from Grizebeck and then again I saw one just outside Broughton Beck in March 2011. I was wondering why I haven’t seen one since, this explains a lot.

    Why for gods sake? They live off carrion etc.