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Police appeal for information after peregrine falcons found dead near Tadcaster

Last modified: 21 October 2020 at 01:52pm

Analysis finds carcasses containing pesticide

Male peregrine falcon laid on ground dead
Male peregrine found poisoned on nest ledge. Credit: Guy Shorrock RSPB

North Yorkshire Police is appealing for information following investigations into the death of two peregrine falcons found at a quarry near Stutton, Tadcaster.

A member of the public who had been observing the mating pair of birds, found a male bird dead on a cliff ledge and following investigation by the RSPB and North Yorkshire Police to recover the carcass, a deceased female peregrine falcon was located in the bottom of the quarry.

Both birds were sent away for testing which confirmed high levels of Bendiocarb in their systems and this was found to be the cause of death. The male bird was found next to a pigeon carcass which it is believed may have been used as bait.

Bendiocarb is licensed for use as a pesticide in England but is highly toxic and should never be released into the environment where wildlife, such as birds of prey, could be exposed to it. The pesticide has been found used to kill birds of prey in North Yorkshire previously and as such, police believe this was a deliberate act of poisoning.

Female peregrine falcon deceased floating in water
Female peregrine found poisoned below nest ledge. Credit: Guy Shorrock RSPB

North Yorkshire Police Inspector Matt Hagen said:

“Poisoning a bird of prey is a crime and it is saddening each time we have another incident reported to us. Every investigation is thoroughly carried out with all lines of enquiry followed to try and find those responsible, but we cannot do this without the public’s help, please be our eyes and ears and report this type of incident to the police.”

“I’m urging anyone who has any information about bird of prey persecution to get in touch with the police, someone out there knows who is committing these crimes and we need that information to ensure they are stopped.”

Despite extensive investigations, police have yet to identify those responsible for misusing this toxic substance. Anyone with information about this incident should contact North Yorkshire Police quoting reference 12200057190.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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