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Bird of prey found in Dumfries and Galloway was poisoned, police say

Red kite Photo: Dumfries and Galloway Police Division

A dead bird of prey discovered by a member of the public in Dumfries and Galloway was poisoned, police say.

The red kite was found in the Durham Hill Lane area of Kirkpatrick Durham, Castle Douglas, on January 20.

Police say an examination indicated it had been poisoned and inquiries are underway into its death.

Constable Alan Steel, specialist wildlife crime officer, said: "Due to the inherent scavenging nature of red kites, they are particularly vulnerable to the illegal use of poisonous bait.

"Red kites are legally protected and Police Scotland works closely with partner agencies, including the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice."

Ian Thomson, head of investigations at RSPB Scotland, added: "Numbers of detected cases of illegal poisoning of our birds of prey have, thankfully, been very low in recent years, so this case is of serious concern.

"The Galloway Red Kite trail, just a few miles from where this bird was killed, is a popular tourist attraction and of great benefit to the local economy.

"The indiscriminate use of illegal poisons doesn't just affect wildlife but is a significant risk to pets and people as well, and we join with the police in asking that anyone who can provide information about this incident comes forward."

Anyone with information is asked to call 101.