Authorities appeal for information over bird poisoning in Monmouthshire
RSPB offers £1000 reward for information leading to a conviction
Gwent Police, the Welsh Government and RSPB Cymru are appealing for information after a buzzard and two ravens were found poisoned in July at a site near Blaenavon, Monmouthshire. The RSPB is offering a reward of £1000 for information leading to a conviction.
Welsh Government Officials collected the birds as part of its Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) which investigates the death of wildlife throughout the UK where there is evidence that pesticide might have been involved.
The carcasses were sent for toxicological analysis where it was discovered they had been poisoned with the banned pesticide carbofuran. Two dead pigeons were also found which had been laced with a pesticide and it is believed these had been put out as an illegal poison bait. Tragically, two dead peregrines were found at the same site in July 2010 and these had also been poisoned with carbofuran.
The agricultural pesticide, carbofuran which has been banned for almost ten years, has been persistently abused to illegally poison birds of prey and other wildlife in the UK.
PC Robert Maddocks, Wildlife Crime Officer with Gwent Police, said: “Our enquiries are ongoing to establish who is responsible for administering the poison used in these cases. All birds of prey, such as buzzards and peregrine falcons, are protected by law and it is illegal to kill them or disturb their nests.”
RSPB Investigations Officer Guy Shorrock said: “This is another dreadful incident of wildlife poisoning. There has been a persistent problem with the targeting and killing of peregrines in South Wales, and we believe it was this species being targeted in the latest incident. However, these crimes are completely indiscriminate other wildlife and people are put at risk from the illegal use of these highly toxic chemicals. We hope that the reward will encourage anyone with information to come forward.”
Environment Minister, John Griffiths said: “Wildlife forms an integral part of Wales’ unique and beautiful environment. It is important that we all work together to protect this environment for future generations and that incidents such as these are fully investigated and where applicable, action is taken.”
All birds of prey and ravens are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. A person convicted of killing one of these birds or using pesticides illegally could be fined up to £5000 and /or six months in jail.
If members of the public have information about this crime they can call the RSPB on 0845 466 3636. All information will be handled in strictest confidence.