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Buzzard illegally shot and killed prompts police investigation

A buzzard which was found illegally shot near Powys has prompted concern by the RSPB and police.

Buzzards, like all birds of prey, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Credit: RSPB

The bird was found dead on the ground by a walker near Llanrhaeadr-ym-mochnant on 10 February, and it was reported to the police.

The bird was X-rayed by a local vet and found to contain at least eight pieces of shot.

An X-ray found the bird contained at least eight pieces of shot. Credit: RSPB

Buzzards, like all birds of prey, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. To kill or injure one is a criminal offence and could result in an unlimited fine or up to six months in jail.

It is saddening and concerning to hear that another protected bird of prey has been shot.

This is a serious problem in Wales and the rest of the UK, and one which the RSPB employs a specialist team to tackle.

We recently launched a hotline to provide a means of reporting crimes against birds of prey in complete confidence.

Someone out there will know what has happened to this bird – please speak out and help end this brutal and illegal behavior.

– Jenny Shelton, PC Adrian Ward, of Dyfed-Powys police

41 reports of wild bird crime in Wales were made to the RSPB’s Investigations unit in 2016, according to their Bird crime report, published last November.

The report also revealed that there were no prosecutions for bird of prey persecution in the UK during 2016.

Knowing another bird of prey has fallen foul to persecution in Wales is disheartening.

The latest Bird crime report showed Powys was joint second highest UK County for raptor persecution from 2012-16 – with 22 confirmed incidents during the period.

It seems there is a real problem in the county that needs addressing quickly if we are to protect the area’s wildlife.

Our investigations team will continue to support Natural Resources Wales and the Rural Crime Team to address the issue.

– Stephen Bladwell, RSPB Cymru Biodiversity Manager