Red kite shot in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire police have issued the following appeal for information:


7 April 2017

Police are appealing for witnesses and information after a wounded bird of prey was taken to a vet in Buntingford.

The Red Kite was spotted in Furneux Pelham, Buntingford, in distress and unable to fly. The vet concluded that the Kite had been shot and had suffered injuries which meant that it had to be put down.

Rural Operational Support Team Sergeant Jamie Bartlett said: “All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act. As a bird of prey Red Kite persecution is monitored by DEFRA and the National Wildlife Crime Unit, as Raptor Persecution is a National Wildlife Crime Priority. Not only is this a serious criminal offence but, this female would have been ready to breed this season and its death will impact on the local Kite population.

If anyone has information about this incident or has seen people shooting or carrying hunting rifles in the area, please contact the Herts Police non-emergency number 101 quoting reference A2/17/197.”


Photo of a red kite by Richard Stonier


24 Responses to “Red kite shot in Hertfordshire”

  1. 1 Steve macsweeney
    April 8, 2017 at 9:48 am

    The gamekeepers at nearby xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx has a proven reputation for killing wildlife.

  2. 2 Les Wallace
    April 8, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I think the idea that lowland keepers have changed their ways where their upland brothers haven’t is wishful thinking, they’ve just got a less dominant presence in the lowlands. Otherwise I’m sure the buzzard expansion would never, ever have taken place at all, and is probably still not what it should be.

  3. 3 crypticmirror
    April 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I think there is definitely a concerted effort this year, driven mainly by spite, to shoot, poison, or snare, all raptors (and other wildlife), just as a big F-you to the environmental lobby. The anti-raptor brigade (which coincides well with certain industries and hobbies we all know well) are definitely pulling out the stops. Especially with soft targets like kites and buzzards. They want to dish out kicks in the teeth. I’ve seen increased calls for culls on osprey and otter coming from angling groups too (along with other river birds, they start off talking about mergansers and cormorants then segue into osprey and otters pretty quickly), so I don’t doubt we’ll soon see dead ospreys too at some point. Or maybe just missing ones, an osprey is most vulnerable when it has caught a fish and a shot one would end up in the drink itself and be hard to find. This year is going to be rough on British wildlife.

    • 4 heclasu
      April 8, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      I am afraid that I tend to agree with you crypticmirror.

    • April 8, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Can’t help thinking this is related to last years licences to kill Buzzards.
      Even the courts are useless with a 6 month suspended sentence being given today for butterfly crimes.
      Does there ever come a time when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired of this endless assault on our wildlife?

    • 8 Les Wallace
      April 10, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Absolutely spot on I’m afraid. There was a high profile little bustard and a red footed falcon that were delighting UK birdwatchers and ended up shot, plus that crane on the Somerset levels, part of the reintroduction programme – blasted out of the sky too. Just general vandalism with a gun or specific targeting for spite?

      I was looking at one comment on a pro shooting, fishing fb page and lo and behold at the end of the predictable list of animals that need to be ‘controlled’ to help the effin bloody salmon – mergansers, goosanders, cormorants, seals, mink, otter was – dolphin! Yeah dolphin now need to be controlled to help save the salmon, an animal that still exists in its tens and tens of thousands and a single hen fish can drop thousands of eggs at one spawning. I was only surprised that it’s taken so long for dolphin to get fingered like this. After all these years of filming the world’s most northerly population of bottle nose dolphins in the Moray Firth snaffling down salmon inevitably this crap was going to surface, and no doubt it’s been in the private thoughts of many salmon fishers for a while.

      The otter is becoming an aquatic buzzard to blame for every single supposed decline from dabchicks to kingfishers (seriously) and the way that the cormorant has been labelled a non native invasive species because the subspecies that is supposed to be most closely associated with freshwater is called sinensis, i.e the Chinese cormorant is beyond ridicule. Somehow although they’ve probably always been here and are here through flying across the sea (but seemingly not going through passport control..tsk! tsk!) the subspecific designation ‘sinensis’ means they are an invader! You could not make this up.

      The tripe coming from angling circles, including prominent members of it such as xxxxx xxxxx is jaw dropping, it’s even worse than what’s comes from the shooting sector. This ‘masterpiece’ – ‘Predation: An Ecological Disaster?’ http://www.thepredationactiongroup.co.uk/The_Big_Picture.pdf from the Predation Action Group really needs to be read, along with others they are trying to push public attitudes to predators back to the days of the otter hunt and gamekeepers gibbet. The piss needs to be ripped out of this idiocy ruthlessly and comprehensively ASAP, the two snared otters dumped on a footpath in Lincolnshire last year were also unlikely to have been the victim of District nurses – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-35640200 – funny how angling organisations have been quiet re muirburn’s effects on water quality and aquatic life though.

      • 9 crypticmirror
        April 10, 2017 at 1:16 pm

        There is a certain charity in Ayrshire that styles itself as a wildlife and ecology charity and all they do is talk about how to maximise salmon and trout production for angling on their website. They’ve already submitted requests for a licence to cull gooseanders and cormorants this year. It is so depressing. They’ve even managed to get funding and cooperation of schools to run education sessions there, under the guise of river ecology, they teach flyfishing to primary school kids. How is that even legal!?

        • 10 Les Wallace
          April 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm

          A friend of mine who is actually comparatively progressive as an angler because he knows that dead wood in rivers is very important ecologically (many fishers see it as an impediment you can snag your line on – after all it’s not really about the fish, it’s about fishing for them) is still vehement cormorants and seals are wrecking salmon numbers. I got out of angling more than twenty years ago because I couldn’t stomach the horrendous ecological ignorance coupled with the bullshitting about anglers being conservationists from those who were more interested in PR than reforming angling. Yes I’ve seen the comments about ‘don’t want too many ospreys’ too and wonder how long it’ll be before there’s an open call for their culling. I believe there have been incidents of osprey persecution around Rutland Water. There’s scope for the idiot wing of angling to do one hell of a lot of damage.

        • 11 Mr T
          April 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

          I am from Ayrshire. Born and bred but working in England. Would love to know more about this bunch.

          • 12 crypticmirror
            April 10, 2017 at 9:01 pm

            I can’t really name them, it would just trigger the stream of xxxxxx’s in case it constituted libel (although, in Scotland is that not defamation?) to name the parties.

          • 13 Truth Seeker
            April 15, 2017 at 10:40 am

            The management of this ‘bunch’ has responded to the lies posted on these pages.

        • 14 Truth Seeker
          April 15, 2017 at 10:38 am

          The Ayrshire Charity in question has never and will never apply for a cull license for piscivorous birds. It will undertake bird counts as that’s a reasonable action for anyone monitoring predation levels in fragile salmon populations. They will never support the eradication of a species to benefit another unless it is an introduced non native species and there is still potential restoration of a native species threatened by the non native species existence.
          The same charity is 100% responsible for building the osprey nesting platforms that attracted these birds to nest in Ayrshire at Loch Doon. They are well respected for their work in education and the focus of this work has been to raise awareness of rivers and freshwater ecology in schools. Reports from the children themselves are that they thoroughly enjoyed the activities in the classroom and in the countryside. They were never given a rod and line to fish with in the field trips, instead that part of the project was about tree planting and environmental protection. The children were encouraged to understand that river habitat should be managed sensitively to protect iconic species such as salmon and trout (both UK Bap species). Tree planting is a way to increase large woody debris in rivers and to protect against predicted water temperature increases as a result of climate change. Additional benefits of tree planting include providing areas of refuge for juvenile salmonids, away from piscivorous birds (a sustainable approach to dealing with predators and one that the charity encourages anglers and proprietors to adopt in the long term.
          They encourage youngsters and adults to try angling but that is in line with Scottish Government’s policy and desire to have improved health and wellbeing achieved through outdoor pursuits and increased participation in this activity.
          This charity is forwards thinking and seeks a more balanced approach to wildlife conservation and habitat protection and restoration. They have taken flak from anglers because they are involved with green engineering and tree planting, ospreys, water voles and wildlife other than fish and now it seems they are taking flak from this sector due to their questioning of the numbers of raptors immediately presumed to have been shot before there’s any evidence to support that. If birds are being shot then the perpetrators should be prosecuted however, radio tracking isn’t 100% reliable and there’s no dispute about that. Bird/Raptor groups need to find the evidence rather than immediately adopting a hostile and unsupported (evidence based) attack that appears to be a standard and unwarranted response and criticism of estates without the evidence to support these claims. Otherwise, they themselves become part of the problem and fuel the barrier between groups that should otherwise work together for the benefit of many species.
          This response is made to correct deliberate misinformation posted on these pages and the charity will rigorously defend itself against any slanderous or defamatory comments.

      • 15 Paul V Irving
        April 11, 2017 at 7:02 am

        The greatest competitor and predator of young salmon in rivers is brown trout but then salmon biology is designed to cope. The problem for salmon, as with all wildlife is the changes WE make to the environment that the stupid blame on other wildlife. Ecological blindness is not confined to the idiots who manage and speak for shooting estates it is equally alive and well in the fishing community and yes we should oppose, educate and ridicule in equal portions as and when required, which incessantly

    • 16 Messi
      April 10, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      I think the Hawk & Owl Trust can take at least some of the credit for what appears to be an increase in killings and ‘missing’ birds of prey: by saying, effectively, it’s OK to rid driven red grouse moors of hen harriers (and H&OT will even do it for you), logic would say that it’s also OK to remove other birds of prey from other areas used for shooting. How can one possibly argue otherwise – what sort of special status does driven grouse shooting ‘industry’ command and deserve that other forms of shooting can’t?

      I’m sure we’ll see increasing numbers of urban racing pigeon enthusiasts demanding ‘action’ to remove pesky peregrines too, and how can one possibly say, ”Yep, removing hen harriers is fine” but ”No, one cannot remove peregrines”?

      Philip Merricks and Jemima Parry-Jones could well set raptor conservation back by decades.

  4. 17 Simon Tucker
    April 8, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    One day militant environmentalists will start snaring, poisoning and shooting gamekeepers: I will bet the police investigate properly then.

    • 18 crypticmirror
      April 8, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      I advise strongly against any militant environmentalists attacking people, for sound moral reasons as well as the basic legal ones. Plus it would strongly damage our cause to be attacking people. I’d hate to think about some gamekeeper bombing around on their quadbike or expensive rangerover and sundry estate vehicles, and then wandering off to suffer an attack on their person whilst out walking the moor out of sight. Attacks on people are to be abhorred, no matter how dodgy their duties are.

      • April 9, 2017 at 12:03 pm

        Yes even posting the slightest hint of violence no matter how metaphorical is not a good idea no matter how tempting.
        The grousers aren’t interested in statistics or hypocrisy, so one post from ‘us’ with a violent word is not measured against the number of violent posts by gamekeepers and their ilk. This is demonstrated by the recent tirade about masks from the CA. No matter that xxxxxxx xxxxxxx frequently use masks: a false rumour about the RSPB being involved with masks is enough to spark the fire.

  5. April 9, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Crypticmirror has a point about taking the law into your own hands, but at the same time the law is feeble and biased towards the shooting and landowning brigade. This creates frustration and can lead to vandalism and violence. The best thing as far as I am concerned is mass trespass like the Kinderscout in the 1930s and xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

    [Ed: disrupting a lawful activity (e.g. driven game shooting) on open access land would be an offence]

    • 22 crypticmirror
      April 9, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      Responding to Ed, but were not many of our freedoms won specifically by disrupting lawful activities. Making a nuisance of yourself and making the opposition’s nice day out a frustrating experience is a time tested form of protest. I’m not advocating it, just pointing out that in the past things like the Kinderscout trespass Oliver mentions would be suppressed on here for being unlawful yet it was key to getting the right to roam movement off the ground. Ed, what do you say to people like Oliver and me who feel disenfranchised from a process and system so obviously rigged in favour of the authorities and see there is no meaningful pressure on them through lawful channels; mainly because they have a death grip on those channels?

      I remain opposed to threats of physical violence though. Moral concerns aside, it would galvanise public opinion against us and do nothing to interfere with their Lairdships who value their employees so cheaply. I’ve never understood keepers loyalty in that regard, surely they must know they are the least valuable, most replaceable, piece of equipment on the estate. The biggest worry their Lairdship would have if a keeper was attacked would be to recover the estate range rover so it wasn’t left out in the moor or scratched by the ambulance. They’d lose their rag well and truly if the range rover or the quadbike got damaged, even if rescuing an ill or injured person was what caused it. Why can’t keeper’s see that? Feudal loyalty and devotion to serfdom, IDGI.

  6. 23 Michael Whitehouse
    April 10, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Most people who shoot raptors are already known to the Police. It is the Police who give them, (for a few quid), a licence to carry a gun in the first place. This is where I think we need to bring pressure to bear. Mind you they would then target bears.

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