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Buzzard died of poisoning, toxicology tests show

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North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information after toxicology tests showed a buzzard died of suspected chloralose poisoning.

On 29 January 2018, a dead buzzard was found in suspicious circumstances on top of a dry-stone wall, next to a layby on the Kildale to Commondale road near Percy Rigg in the North York Moors.

The find was made by a member of the public, who reported it to the RSPB and North Yorkshire Police. The area is very public, and it is unlikely that the bird died where it was found, but appears to have been placed onto the wall deliberately.

The bird was collected and no obvious signs of trauma were found, and an x-ray revealed no signs of injury. The bird was sent for toxicology tests under the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS).

The results show that chloralose poisoning was the likely cause of death.

If you have any information about the circumstances of the buzzard’s death, or why it was placed on the wall, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12180127114.

Anyone wishing to speak in confidence about this matter, or any raptor persecution incident, can also call the RSPB Raptor Crime Hotline on 0300 9990101.

Sergeant Stuart Grainger, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “North Yorkshire is known for its wonderful countryside, which is home to many species of birds, including protected birds of prey. Sadly, as a county, we have more confirmed incidents of raptor persecution than any other county in England – a situation North Yorkshire Police is absolutely determined to tackle.

“It is saddening that this magnificent bird has been poisoned. I would urge anyone with any information about this incident to contact us on 101, or you can speak with someone in confidence by ringing the RPSB hotline number.”

Jenny Shelton, RSPB Investigations Liaison Officer, said: “Raptor persecution is a serious, ongoing issue which is affecting some of our most incredible birds of prey. Our UK population of buzzards dropped during the 20th century largely due to illegal killing, and it’s alarming that these practices are continuing even today. This was a despicable and deliberate act. If you have any information, please speak out.”

Last modified: October 8, 2018