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Police warning after bird of prey dies of poisoning

A bird of prey found dead in the Scottish Borders had been poisoned, police said.

The buzzard was discovered by a member of the public close to Carcant Hill in the Herriot area on Sunday June 30.

The bird, which was in a badly decomposed state, was sent for forensic analysis.

It was initially confirmed that it had been shot with a shotgun pellet.

Further analysis confirmed the cause of death was the direct result of poisoning.

Potentially we are talking about baits laced with poison that have been laid out in the open countryside for this bird to feed on.

The use of poison is always of grave concern because it has the potential for indiscriminate contact beyond the birds illegally targeted and could therefore kill pets, other wildlife or anything else that may come into contact with it.

– PC Hannah Medley, Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer for Police Scotland.

Anyone with information should contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Newton Stewart man fined £4450 for bird poisoning

A 62-year-old gamekeeper from Dumfries and Galloway has been fined £4450 for poisoning a bird of prey and owning illegal pesticides.

A common buzzard died after it ate a pheasant carcass that Peter Bell, from Newton Stewart, had laced with the highly toxic pesticide carbofuran.

A common buzzard Credit: PA

Mr Bell left the bait in a field on Glasserton Home Farm near Whithorn on 23rd December 2012.

The illegal poisonous substances carbofuran, strychnine and alphachloralose were also found in his tool shed and home during a search in March.

Mr Bell pleaded guilty at Stranraer Sheriff Court to one charge of killing a wild bird and three of having illegal pesticides under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Craig Harris, wildlife and environment procurator fiscal, said:

"The killing of this buzzard was considered and deliberate criminality. The laying of bait laced with carbofuran was shockingly irresponsible conduct.

"It was compounded by the stocks of other illegal poisons that were kept.

"The law protects wild birds and those who seek to poison them, or continue to possess stocks of illegal poison, can fully expect to be brought before the courts."