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Thursday, 3 June 2010

More Wildlife Crime in Scotland

RSPB assisting with investigation into allegations
of wildlife crimes in the Moy area

Investigations staff at RSPB Scotland this morning assisted Northern Constabulary Police and other multi agency partners in the search of an estate in the Moy area following up allegations of serious wildlife crime.

Working with the SSPCA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Wildlife Crime Unit and Scottish Government's Rural Payments Inspectorate, the intelligence-led operation focused on searching outbuildings, vehicles and a large area of open ground.

The operation focused on the illegal poisoning of protected birds of prey after a number of dead birds were recovered in the vicinity in recent weeks, as well as a grouse carcass which tested positive for illegal poison. One of the recovered red kites had been satellite tagged and adopted by a local school who were monitoring its progress on-line. Suspicions arose after the signal from the bird stopped moving.

Police recovered a number of further items of evidence in the operation today, which have now been taken away for forensic examination. RSPB will continue to assist the police upon request.

Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: "Serious crimes against our most spectacular birds and wildlife are utterly deplorable, and do major harm to our reputation as a country that values and cares for its wildlife and natural environment.

"There is a growing body of compelling evidence which abundantly demonstrates the scale and impact that illegal poisoning is having on the populations of iconic birds of prey such as the red kite and golden eagle. The perpetrators of these crimes must be pursued with the full vigour of the law.

"We are extremely thankful to the efforts of the Northern Constabulary, Scottish Government and all other partner agencies whose diligent work makes it possible to thoroughly investigate allegations of this nature."
For more information, images and to arrange interviews please contact RSPB Scotland's Head of Media James Reynolds on 01313116500 or 07725065186.