Archive for June, 2010


Police raid at Moy Estate, Inverness after raptors found dead

Police raid at Moy Estate

Police have conducted a raid on the Moy Estate, near Inverness, following the recent discovery of poisoned bait and dead raptors. The RSPB has been undertaking surveillance for several weeks at the estate after a dead grouse was found to have been used as a poisoned bait. This culminated in today’s police raid, where evidence (believed to include dead birds) has been removed for further investigation and toxicology tests. No arrests have been made as yet.

Moy Estate owner Celia Mackintosh

The 25,000 acre Moy Estate is a well-known grouse-shooting estate, and, rather embarrassingly, was one of the signatories of the recent letter to the government from numerous sporting estates who claimed to condemn raptor poisoning. Two people from Moy Estate signed the letter – Victor Beamish is the 19th signatory, and Estate owner Celia Mackintosh is the 143rd signatory. Click here to view that letter:  SRPBA LETTER MAY 2010

Yet another instance demonstrating the worthlessness of that letter. Well done Moy Estate, you have earned a place in our Named Estates directory. I can’t wait to hear what the SRPBA, SEBG and SGA have to say about this. I expect that Moy Estate will be expelled from all three groups, and that all three groups will also boycott the forthcoming Moy Field Sports Fair, being held on Moy Estate on 6th & 7th August 2010. You don’t think so? No, me neither, but if these three organisations wish to be taken seriously, they will stick to their previous promises and demonstrate their ‘condemnation’ of the illegal raptor persecution activities apparently uncovered at Moy Estate.

Full news story about the police raid:

And here:

UPDATE: A quote from SRPBA Chief Executive Douglas McAdam about this incident, “We do not yet know the full facts of this case. We are appalled none the less at what appears to be yet further illegal persecution against Scotland’s wildlife, but we do need to await the outcome of the legal process to determine where guilt lies“.–

Douglas, I don’t think you need to be Inspector Clouseau to work this one out!


red kite blasted with shotgun finally released

In December 2009, a walker found an injured red kite in Braco, Perthshire. X-rays revealed it had been blasted with a shotgun, five times,  from close range. The kite’s injuries were horrific and it was feared the bird would not survive (see the post on this blog from 3 March 2010). No arrests were made.

The kite ready for release

Six months later, after extensive treatment and care provided by the SSPCA, the rehabilitated kite was released back to the wild yesterday. Congratulations to all involved with this bird’s recovery.

News story:


landowners’ condemnation of raptor persecution revisited

Last week, I reported that 23 of the shooting estates that had signed the letter to condemn raptor poisoning had had wildlife crime incidents recorded on their properties, and in some cases, employees had criminal convictions associated with wildlife crime. I decided to give them all the benefit of the doubt, as they may all have since changed ownership and/or staff since those incidents and subsequently changed their attitude towards raptor killing.  After some heavy duty googling, it appears that 6 of the 22 have changed ownership, 11 have not, and inconclusive material was found for 6.

Estates that do not appear to have changed ownership and/or staff since incidents of wildlife crime have been recorded on their land, yet are asking us to believe they now ‘condemn’ raptor poisoning are as follows:

Careston Castle, Dochfour Estate, Invercauld Estate, Haystoun Estate, Dougarie Estate, Haddo Estate, Dunecht Estate, Roxburghe Estate, Seafield & Strathsprey Estates, Innes Estate.

Estates that do appear to have changed ownership and/or staff since incidents of wildlife crime were recorded on their land are as follows:

Coignafearn Estate, Dunachton Estate, Glenfeshie Estate, Lothian Estate, Islay Estate, Wemyss & March Estates.

Inconclusive evidence of a change of ownership and/or staff since incidents of wildlife crime were recorded on their land include the following:

Rosehaugh Estate, Dinnet & Kinord Estate, Balmanno Estate, Straloch Farm, Aberarder Estate.

Dr Sigrid Rausing

One estate that deserves special mention is Coignafearn Estate in the Monadhliaths. Previously known by raptor workers as a notorious eagle black-spot in the 1980s when it was owned by an age-ing Belgian, Baron Douharty, Coignafearn was bought by Dr Sigrid Rausing in 1998. The daughter of Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Rausing, she has since made tremendous efforts to run this estate positively for raptors, including building artifical nest sites to try and encourage breeding golden eagles back to her land.

If only all landowners were as enlightened as Dr Rausing.

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