Birds of Prey Scotland – safer

birds of prey found dead
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Birds of Prey in Scotland are safer according to new figures

The number of crimes targeting birds of prey has dropped slightly in the last year, new figures have revealed.

There were 19 crimes in 2014, down from 23 the previous year, according to data published by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland.

They included one of the country’s worst-ever poisoning cases involving 12 red kites and four buzzards found dead in the Black Isle, Ross-shire last spring.

Other species targeted last year include the peregrine falcon, goshawk, golden eagle, hen harrier and tawny owl.

There were six reported bird-of-prey poisoning incidents in Scotland in 2014, the same number as in 2013.

Two of the cases remain under live police investigation and are not included on maps showing the distribution of crimes around the country which have been published recently.

There were also eight shooting incidents, two trappings, one disturbance and two other unspecified incidents.

Aileen McLeod, minister for environment and climate change, and chair of PAW Scotland, said: “It is good to see that there has been a reduction in the overall number of crimes in 2014 compared to 2013.

RSPB Scotland said crime involving birds of prey remains an ongoing problem.

video: STV, reporter: Ross Govans

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