Last month (Oct 26th) we reported on a Peregrine poisoning in South Yorkshire. Initially found alive the bird was taken into care but later died. Forensic analysis determined that it had been poisoned with Bendiocarb, an acutely toxic insecticide developed by Bayer. Pure bendiocarb is highly toxic to birds, highly toxic to honey bees, extremely toxic to earthworms, and moderately to highly toxic to several species of fish and aquatic invertebrates such as shrimp and crabs. Bendiocarb is also highly toxic to humans if ingested or absorbed through the skin.
South Yorkshire Police’s (SYP) Fran Robbs de la Hoyde said at the time that, “This was a deliberate act that caused the death of a beautiful and protected bird. I am saddened by this and I am asking for your help to bring those responsible to justice.”
Yesterday (Nov 17th) SYP raided a property under warrant, and seized what they have described as ‘a number of suspicious items’. They issued a press-release (copied below) which stressed just how important community cooperation has been in the case, saying that “Intelligence from the public assisted officers from the Barnsley Central Neighbourhood Team, the force’s Wildlife and Rural Coordinators, Crime Scene Investigation and members of the RSPB to carry out a search of a property on Abbots Road, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.“
This is a hugely important statement of intent. The police are regularly criticised for not doing enough to crack down on wildlife crime (especially when it comes to fox hunting and shooting), but while some individual officers do appear highly partisan, in general forces are underfunded and wildlife crime is generally not a high priority for local residents. It’s also worth noting that the prior to the coronavirus National Lockdown, Barnsley was already in Tier 3 (the highest tier) and local police have been under considerable pressure to enforce restrictions. It is to SYP’s credit that they have pursued this poisoning.
Investigations are of course still ongoing so we won’t speculate or comment further, but hopefully further details will come out in due course. In the meantime, raptor persecution is a far larger problem in the UK than official reports suggest, and we welcome PC Fran Robbs de la Hoyd’s statement that “We are committed to protecting our wildlife and will ensure that those responsible are brought before the courts.”
We can all help her and her colleagues achieve that by keeping our eyes open and reporting any incidents:
- Call the police on 101
- Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
- Contact the RSPB Investigations Unit*: England on 01767 680551 or Scotland 0131 317 4100.
- If you have information about someone killing raptors, and want to remain anonymous, call the RSPB’s confidential Raptor Crime Hotline on 0300 999 0101.
Warrant executed in connection to poisoned bird
A warrant has today (17 November) been executed at a property in Barnsley in connection to the poisoning of a protected wild bird.South Yorkshire Police, Press-release, 17 Nov 2020
Last month officers appealed for your help in finding those responsible for poisoning a juvenile peregrine falcon in the Fish Dam area of Barnsley.
Intelligence from the public assisted officers from the Barnsley Central Neighbourhood Team, the force’s Wildlife and Rural Coordinators, Crime Scene Investigation and members of the RSPB to carry out a search of a property on Abbots Road, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
PC Fran Robbs de la Hoyde explains: “Peregrine Falcons are an important part of our local ecosystems, and are protected under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
“It is a shame that someone would wish to harm these animals in such a deliberate act. The bird is believed to have ingested bait laced with toxic substances.
“This morning we executed a warrant and found a number of suspicious items. Enquiries into persons involved in the offence are ongoing.
“We are committed to protecting our wildlife and will ensure that those responsible are brought before the courts.”
We are stronger with our communities help and we are always grateful for those who take the time to read, respond and share information in which they have to help officers with their enquiries.