"I very much welcome the significant reduction in the number of birds of prey poisoned, which I hope signals the real change in attitude that is required to end this outdated and cruel practice.
"2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland and our birds of prey are both a vital part of the natural environment and a stunning spectacle which attract visitors to our countryside from home and abroad.
"It is our duty to protect them."
More top news
A look ahead at the forecast for the Border region.
Artefacts uncovered from a Viking burial site in Cumwhitton have went on display in Carlisle's Tullie House thanks to a £50,000 grant
Members of the Lake District Ski Club, based on Raise Fell near Hellvelyn, have been taking the Alpine past time to Cumbria. See the pics: