Red Kites poisoned

Kite
Red Kite in flight Photo:

There are concerns for wildlife in our region after two birds of prey were deliberately poisoned. The red kites were found dead in the Chilterns. The first was found in January in the village of Hexton in Hertfordshire. The second was found in March less than a mile away at the Pegsdon Hills Nature Reserve in Bedfordshire. They had been poisoned with a highly toxic banned pesticide. It's believed they had been feeding on carrion laced with the chemical and then placed in the countryside. This illegal practice kills around 20 birds every year in this country. Guy Shorrock from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds told us: "It's absolutely disgraceful that a fantastic bird like the red kite is being found poisoned in a place like this. We know that these poisons are incredibly toxic and the birds are usually found at, or very near, to point that they picked up the poison. So we believe it's probably somebody in the local community that is responsible." Sergeant Jamie Bartlett from Hertfordshire Police's Rural Operational Support Team said: "We are appealing to anybody who may have more information about the deaths of these birds. The use of poison in these circumstances is highly irresponsible and indiscriminate. The pesticide used is highly toxic and the potential for injury to members of the public or their pets could have been high." The police and RSPB are continuing their investigation. There is a £1,000 reward for information which leads to a successful conviction.