North York Moors: Appeal for information about the shooting of a Red Kite
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North Yorkshire Police's Rural Task Force is appealing for witnesses and information about the shooting of a Red Kite on the North York Moors near Westerdale.
The Red Kite, suffering with gunshot wounds, was found by a local farmer at 9.30pm on Monday 26 June in Westerdale. Sadly, despite being taken to a vet it did not survive its injuries.
This incident follows another recent shooting of a Red Kite in the area on Tuesday 13 June. North Yorkshire Police have also received information that there may be a third injured Red Kite, photographed by walkers on Friday 23 June, on the opposite side of the valley.
We believe that these incidents are linked. This disturbing criminal behaviour and persecution of innocent birds of prey will not be tolerated and must cease immediately.
Police are renewing their appeal for any information in relation to raptor persecution. Anyone with information that could assist our investigation should email [email protected]
If you spot a dead or injured bird, poisoned bait or a pole trap, please note the location, take a photo and call North Yorkshire Police on 101 to report it.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please quote police reference 12230107850 when passing on information.
Red kites were saved from national extinction by one of the world's longest-running protection programmes and have been successfully reintroduced to England and Scotland. Red kites are listed under Schedule 1 of The Wildlife and Countryside Act.
North Yorkshire Police in collaboration with the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC), Countryside Alliance, Moorland Association and the National Gamekeepers Association take a zero-tolerance approach to raptor persecution. All agencies agree that ‘there is no excuse for illegally killing of any bird of prey and unreservedly condemn all such acts. Any individual convicted of a crime against a bird of prey will be expelled from the organisation’.
Police are aware that local gamekeepers will come under suspicion, however we will investigate with an open mind, gathering information from a variety of sources, and not be led by assumptions.
In response to the ongoing persecution against birds of prey in the North Yorkshire Moors, North Yorkshire Police Rural Taskforce Officers have increased marked and unmarked patrols in target areas to protect wildlife and deter offenders.