Search Results for: North Yorkshire

Poisoned kite first to fledge in Strathspey since 1880

Police Scotland has confirmed that a Red Kite found dead in the Ruthven area near Moy, Tomatinin in October, had been poisoned with a banned pesticide. So another day, another raptor poisoned with a banned pesticide. Which pesticide isn’t identified but it will be one of the eight listed on the Possession of Pesticides (Scotland) Order 2005, many of which are well-known to be favoured by certain employees of the shooting ‘community’ for their toxicity: Aldicarb, Alphachloralose, Aluminium phosphide, Bendiocarb, Carbofuran, Mevinphos, Sodium cyanide and Strychnine. Several of these chemicals are the base ingredients of the infamous ‘Nidderdale Cocktail’ which poisoned two spaniels in North Yorkshire in April this year. Inevitably this poisoning has led to a discussion about the licencing of grouse moors. Would a poisoning incident like this have taken place if an estate’s licence to sell Red Grouse to shooters was potentially be at risk? It’s difficult to realistically see what difference licencing would make in cases like this…

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Goshawk ‘killing’ was filmed on one of Queen’s grouse moors

A couple of days ago news broke that a ‘masked man’ had been filmed killing a Goshawk on an estate in North Yorkshire. At the time the name of the estate was being withheld as a story was being prepared for a major newspaper. That voluntary embargo has now been lifted. An article with an accompanying video was published just after midnight this morning in The Times which was headlined “‘Killing’ of rare bird of prey filmed on one of Queen’s grouse moors in North Yorkshire”. The incident took place at “Goathland Moor in North Yorkshire, part of the Duchy of Lancaster”.

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Sick hunters dump bag of dead rabbits and hare outside school

Well, here’s a headline and a half: “Sick hunters dump bag of dead rabbits and hare outside school”. And (in a rather sad symmetry with yesterday’s post) it’s from Yorkshire again – though this time West Yorkshire rather than North Yorkshire. It’s worth looking at this story. First though, we’ve been criticised for talking about a ‘war on wildlife’, but let’s face it, if dumping a bag of dead animals outside of a school is not at least an indication that wildlife is not valued especially highly by some sections of society then what is (unless these ‘morons’ – and we’re quoting the police here [see below]) – are just anti-school children…)

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Buzzard found shot near Appleton-le-Moors

Appleton-le-Moors. Where might that be then? Here’s a clue: it’s in a part of the country that is regularly called out as the worst place in Britain for a specific crime. Some urban ‘sink’ much-derided by right-wing journalists as a car theft hot-spot? A deprived and unloved part of the UK where gangs of feral youths patrol the streets mugging pensioners as they wobble back from the post office with their life-savings in a paper bag? Of course not: it’s a village and civil parish in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire and the answer lies in the fact that the so-called ‘National Park’ is actually largely owned by grouse shooting estates,

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Guest Post: Bob Berzins | ‘Snared’ – why it matters

“Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was photographed with a grouse shooting party in North Yorkshire on 19th August 1960. The location was Barden Moor, owned by the Duke of Devonshire and this was a typical scene for the ruling classes. This was just a few months after I was born and it’s taken nearly the whole of my lifetime for us to understand what grouse shooting is all about.” Guest Post by Bob Berzins

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Yet another Hen Harrier disappears in ‘suspicious circumstances’

The RSPB is reporting that yet another satellite-tagged Hen Harrier, this time a female called Yarrow, has disappeared in ‘suspicious circumstances’ (legalese for ‘we have a damn good idea what happened but right now we can’t prove it’). Using the rolling total on Raptor Persecution UK (as far as most people are concerned the most accessible – and certainly most current – talliers of just how many Hen Harriers have ‘disappeared’ or been confirmed illegally killed) that would make fifty-three since 2018! Of course birds die naturally but when they do their satellite-tags don’t die with them. They keep on transmitting, sending location data to researchers. Yet when Hen Harriers die their satellite-tags almost always in effect die too – because whoever kills them is removing the tag and burying it, wrapping it in lead, destroying it etc etc etc. Those are not the actions of for example birdwatchers or raptor researchers or anyone except wildlife criminals who do not want Hen Harriers on ‘their’ moorland. To be fair, that might not just be gamekeepers – some landowners don’t want them either.

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What do multi-agency searches for raptor poisoners tell us?

According to a statement released by Durham Constabulary, on April 21st, Operation Sunbeam, which included members of the Barnard Castle Neighbourhood Policing Team, RSPB, Natural England and the National Wildlife Crime Unit, saw searches carried out at two properties in Teesdale. This follows an incident last year when two Buzzards were found dead in Teesdale woodland. Forensic tests indicated they were illegally poisoned with a banned pesticide. While it’s of course encouraging to see multi-agency efforts to tackle wildlife crime like this, it’s concerning that they seem to be becoming more regular. In January this year a joint agency investigation was set up to investigate the killing of a Buzzard. RPUK has pointed out there were three such raids in March this year alone: in Lincolnshire, Dorset, and Devon (the latter following the poisoning of yet another Buzzard). What does that tell us? That the efforts that are having to be put into tackling these crimes confirm just how serious and widespread the use of poisons to kill birds of prey really is.

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Why is it so hard to prosecute wildlife crime?

“All wildlife crime investigations are extremely complex and without sufficient, strong evidence, it can be very difficult to bring about a successful prosecution. We know this is frustrating to members of the public and it is frustrating to our officers but we can only act within the legislation available.” (North Yorks Police ). While there is no doubt at all that some police officers on some forces actively support illegal fox hunting (either because they hurt themselves or their colleagues do) the Hunting Act (ie the legislation) needs strengthening to remove the exemptions which make evading the law so easy and pursuing hunters in court so difficult.

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