peregrine shot in Northern Ireland had to be euthanised

Following on from the good news in the Irish Republic (see previous post), the news from Northern Ireland puts us firmly back in reality. A peregrine falcon found injured with gunshot wounds to its wing has had to be euthanised by a vet due to the extent of its injuries.

The injured peregrine was euthanised after a veterinary examination

The bird was found by a member of the public in County Down and police have now launched an investigation, warning that those responsible will face court action.

A Northern Ireland Assembly member, Jim Wells, who is also a founder member of the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group,  said there had been a number of targetted attacks on peregrines in recent months, with a further two incidents reported earlier this autumn. Jim blamed what he described as ‘rogue elements’ in the pigeon fanciers/pigeon racing community for attacks on peregrines, although he thought this most recent incident was likely to have been a case of mistaken or accidental shooting by wildfowlers.

Four years ago, Jim’s group said they believed a ‘hit man’ had been hired by racing pigeon enthusiasts to shoot peregrines in Northern Ireland and said as many as 30 peregrines had been shot.

BBC news story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11573736

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