29
Jul
11

National UK poisoning statistics show steady rise

The UK’s national statistics documenting animals poisoned by pesticides have been released by the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme. The scheme covers Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The spreadsheet provides poisoning data from 2008 up to the end of the first quarter of 2011 (Jan – March). The figures clearly show an increase in the number of deliberate poisoning incidents recorded (classed as ‘abuse’ in the spreadsheet) nationwide:

2008 – total confirmed abuse incidents = 66.

2009 – total confirmed abuse incidents = 71.

2010 – total confirmed abuse incidents = 80.

Whether this increase is due to a rise in illegal poisoning activities or a better detection rate is unclear. What is clear is that illegal poisoning continues across our landscapes. The figures for the first quarter of 2011 show 17 confirmed abuse incidents.

It’s notable that many of the individually-confirmed abuse incidents have not appeared in the press. It’s also worth reading how many cases are now considered ‘closed’ because the source of the poison hasn’t been established. It would have been interesting to have seen the different locations involved (eg how many were discovered on land managed for game-rearing and shooting?) but once again this level of detail has not been provided.

Spreadsheet available here


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