Last week, at the end of May 2014, the Police Service of Northern Ireland issued a vague press release calling for information about the discovery of a poisoned white-tailed eagle in the Armoy area of Northern Ireland. Toxicology results revealed the bird had been killed by the banned poison, Carbofuran.
The thing is, this bird was discovered in April 2013 – over a year ago – and yet this is the first time the PSNI have published anything about it.
Here’s what their press release said:
“Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a sea eagle.
During April 2013 police received a report from a member of the public regarding a dead sea eagle found within the Armoy area.
Subsequent toxicology reports confirmed Carbofuran poisoning to be the cause of death.
Carbofuran is a banned substance which is highly toxic and poses a serious risk to public health and safety.
Police are appealing to anyone with information in relation to this incident to contact them on the new non-emergency number 101″.
It’s not known if this was an adult or a juvenile bird, or whether it was from the Kerry reintroduction project in SW Ireland or whether it was a Scottish bird.
It’s also not known whether this appalling delay was due to the toxicology lab, or whether it was due to the police, or both. It’s not the first time that such chronically long delays have occurred here – see here and here for previous blogs. Whichever agency is responsible, it’s shocking that it has has taken over a year for an appeal for information.
It’s worth asking some questions about this. Let’s email the following people to ask about why it has taken so long to (a) appeal for information about this crime, and (b) warn the public in the Armoy area of Northern Ireland about the serious risk of a banned and highly toxic poison lying around in the countryside:
Minister for Agriculture Michelle O’Neill (who is directly responsible for overseeing the process of toxicology sampling). Her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The local police office of the Armoy area: NPTBallycastle@psni.pnn.police.uk
Photo of a white-tailed eagle by Mike Watson