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RSPB put up Reward

?for eagle death information*

For the first time in its history, RSPB Scotland is offering a reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the poisoning of two protected golden eagles. Northern Constabulary is currently carrying out inquiries into the poisoning of one of the birds of prey at the Glenfeshie Estate in the Cairngorms on 10 June. Grampian Police is also carrying out an inquiry following a similar death at Dinnet and Kinnord Estate near Ballater on 13 May.

These crimes have caused great concern for RSPB Scotland officials and as a result the organisation has decided to put up a reward of £1,000 per crime for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. It is the first time the organisation has offered a financial reward for information in relation to the death of a bird, but it hopes this move will highlight the serious nature of this type of crime, as well as underlining the RSPB Scotland and the police's determination to detect those responsible and bring them to justice. It is understood that both birds were poisoned using illegal carbofuran poison. Possession of this substance is in itself a crime. PC John Bryden, Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator at Northern Constabulary said, “The Force takes any type of crime against wildlife very seriously and we are continuing our inquiries into this incident. Obviously we are delighted that the RSPB Scotland has opted to put up a reward in relation to this crime and we hope that someone with information will come forward”.

Grampian Police, which now has a full-time Wildlife Officer in PC Dave McKinnon, is also appealing for information in relation to the poisoning of a golden eagle on the Dinnet and Kinnord Estate near Ballater. PC McKinnon said, “We look forward to developing our partnership with the RSPB Scotland in relation to what is a very serious offence. Hopefully the reward will stimulate the public to come forward with information and we can trace those responsible”. Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland said, ”Golden eagles are magnificent icons of the Scottish uplands and we should be proud that Scotland supports some 442 pairs of these awe-inspiring birds that attract tourists from all over the world. Yet some in our country selfishly persecute these birds, through the use of poisoned baits or other means. In space of just three months, two dead eagles have been found - killed illegally”. He added, “Through the police we are now appealing for information to help bring the perpetrators to justice. For each case, we are offering a £1000 reward for information that leads to a successful prosecution. We appeal to anyone who has information to contact the police so we can put a stop to these dreadful crimes”. Police would encourage members of the public who find a dead bird or a carcass, which they suspect may have been left there for bait, not to touch anything and report their finding to police. Officers would also ask the public to inform police only and avoid touching the area as potential evidence may be destroyed. PC Bryden added, ”Poison such as carbofuran is extremely dangerous to humans and pets and we would urge people who find carcasses not to touch them and contact the police immediately. Baits can include such things as animal carcasses - rabbits, sheep, pigeons or even chickens from a supermarket - which have been cut open and had poison administered”.

*Anyone with any information about either crime is asked to contact Northern Constabulary on 01463 715555, Grampian Police on 0845 600 5700. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers 24-7 anonymously on 0800 555 111 or The Campaign Against Illegal Poisoning number which is 0800 321 600.

4th July 2014