eagle killers getting away with it: Skibo update

Given the deafening silence on the progress of the Skibo case (see blog report 12 May 2010, where it was reported that three golden eagles, one sparrowhawk and one buzzard had been found on the Skibo Estate in north Scotland), we’ve done some digging around.

Last month (see blog post 20 September 2010), we noted that the results from the toxicology investigation on the dead birds had not been made public. We also noted that the results of the police investigation had not been made public. Infact, since the police raid in early May, the only press coverage was that on 21 June 2010, where Skibo gamekeeper Dean Barr had accused the RSPB of planting the dead birds: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2010/06/21/gamekeeper-at-skibo-estate-probed-after-three-golden-eagles-are-found-dead-86908-22348349/

We have discovered that the three golden eagles and one sparrowhawk  had all been killed by eating poisoned baits, according to scientific analysis undertaken by government scientists. Their results conclude that two of the golden eagles, plus one sparrowhawk were killed by the banned pesticide Carbofuran. They state the third golden eagle was killed by the banned pesticide Aldicarb. Click here for the SASA report detailing these incidents: SASA poisoning positive results 2010

Given the confirmation that these  raptors that were found dead on Skibo Estate in May 2010 had been killed by illegal poisons, it is worrying that there has been no formal notification of any charges brought against anybody for these crimes.

Does this mean that, along with every other single case of eagle persecution in this country, the eagle killer(s) in the Skibo case will be getting away with it?

It is perhaps timely that the WaNE bill is currently being reviewed by the Scottish parliament. Measures proposed in that bill will, if implemented, help to stop these criminals getting away with murdering our iconic birds of prey. For example, if the concept of vicarious liability is accepted, then the Estate Owner/Manager will take full legal responsibility for the actions of their staff.

Right now, nobody takes responsibility and we’re all sick of reading these news stories about yet another eagle/kite/buzzard/peregrine/goshawk/osprey/sparrowhawk/tawny owl/hen harrier/kestrel being persecuted.

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