23
Apr
14

Parliamentary questions asked about poisoned peregrine at Leadhills

Peregrine poisoned Leadhills Feb 2014Three weeks ago we blogged about the discovery of a poisoned peregrine in the Leadhills area of South Lanarkshire, and the alleged response of Police Scotland & NWCU, who both seemed reluctant to handle the case (see here, here and here).

The authorities have refused to discuss the incident, claiming it would be inappropriate to comment on an on-going investigation. We argue that answering questions about how an initial telephone call was handled would have no impact whatsoever on any ‘investigation’ (and we don’t even believe there is an investigation, as the person who reported the dead bird has apparently been told by Police Scotland that a witness statement is not required!!!).

This stone-walling response is pretty common and we’re used to it by now. Many of us have written to the Environment Minister to demand an explanation about why the police and the NWCU allegedly ignored this reported crime but so far we’ve heard absolutely nothing in return. This silence doesn’t fill us with confidence that raptor persecution is being taken seriously.

One MSP isn’t satisfied with this official wall of silence.

Liam McArthur MSPLiam McArthur MSP, a Scottish Liberal Democrat representing the Orkney Islands (a very long way from Leadhills!!) has submitted a series of parliamentary questions about this Leadhills case, and more generally about the effectiveness of current enforcement measures to deal with raptor persecution. Good on him.

Question S4W-20745: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 15/04/2014

To ask the Scottish Government what steps Police Scotland is taking to ensure that its staff are aware of their responsibilities regarding the protection of protected species. [Current Status: Expected answer date 15/5/2014].

Question S4W-20746: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 15/04/2014

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will hold an inquiry into reports that Police Scotland told a member of the public that the poisoning of a peregrine falcon in the Leadhills area was not a police matter. [Current Status: Expected Answer date 15/05/2014].

Question S4W-20747: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 15/04/2014

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to combat illegal raptor persecution in the Leadhills area. [Current Status: Expected Answer date 15/05/2014].

Question S4W-20748: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 15/04/2014

To ask the Scottish Government whether there is sufficient evidence to assess the effectiveness of the new enforcement measures to tackle raptor persecution announced by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change on 1 July 2013. [Current Status: Expected Answer date 15/05/2014].

UPDATE: Answers to Liam McArthur’s questions have now been published – see here.

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5 Responses to “Parliamentary questions asked about poisoned peregrine at Leadhills”


  1. 2 Dougie
    April 24, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Good on Liam McArthur.
    The stonewalling approach is standard operating procedure for government departments and many large organisations. They do it because it works 95% of the time – complainers give up. The trick is never to give up.

  2. 3 Merlin
    April 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Agreed with the first two respondents, well done Liam for asking the questions
    it will be interesting to see the answer to the question “To ask the Scottish Government whether there is sufficient evidence to assess the effectiveness of the new enforcement measures to tackle raptor persecution announced by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change on 1 July 2013”
    since these measures came in there has been a huge increase in persecution. it’s obvious to all and sundry these measures have been met with the obligatory two fingers from the untouchables. we suggested all along that stronger measures needed to be taken. persecution rates have gone up over 600%, he applauded a 70% decrease in his first year, though this was disputed, how wrong could he have been?
    it would also have been nice for Alex McAurthur to ask if Leadhills estate are still at liberty to control pest species given the appalling history of persecution around this area

  3. 4 Chris Roberts
    April 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    According to BBC Scotland news tonight, the first White Tailed Eagle born in East Scotland in 200 years, has been shot and killed on a killing estate in Strathdon. When are they going to shut these disgraceful blots on Scotland’s reputation down?

  4. April 25, 2014 at 11:52 am

    We need more people like this in Scottish Government, not afraid to stand up for our wildlife and ask the questions that need answering. Project Raptor has recently completed a poster campaign around the villages, close to where this peregrine was discovered poisoned. We received some positive support from the communities as well as shock that the persecution of raptors is continuing around their area.

    These posters were distributed as part of Project Raptor’s community awareness initiative. The idea behind this action is to firstly alert the local communities, often the same communities where the criminals will be living, to the fact that crimes against birds of prey are taking place in their area and to be on the look out for such activities. Also, if poisoning has been confirmed, then to warn them of the dangers of coming into contact with such deadly poisons. We also give out contact information for anybody who may have information relating to an incident. In this case at Leadhills we reminded the community that the person responsible for setting out the poison will have done so with the full knowledge that he or she would have been putting the local community and wider public at risk of serious harm, easily leading to death, if they were to come into contact with such a toxic substance.


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