Peregrine found shot in Ninfield, East Sussex

Press statement from Sussex Police, 25 May 2017:

A protected peregrine falcon has been found shot in Ninfield, East Sussex, sparking an investigation by police and the RSPB.

The bird – a female – was discovered alive but injured by woods at Lunsford Cross on 10 May, and staff from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service were called to recover the bird.

An X-ray revealed a recent fracture to its right wing consistent with a shot injury. While undergoing examination, a further three shot gun pellets were discovered: two in the bird’s stomach and one in its left wing. These were considered historic and the vet concluded that the bird had also been shot at an earlier date.

The peregrine has undergone surgery and is recovering at the rescue centre.

Daryl Holter, Wildlife and Heritage Officer for Sussex Police, has urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

He said: “Peregrine falcons are a protected species under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. It is an offence to intentionally take, injure or kill a peregrine. To shoot it in this way was a vile and senseless act. Had the injured bird not been found it would almost certainly have faced a lingering death, possibly through starvation.”

Chris Riddington from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue said: “The bird is incredibly lucky to have been found and we are liaising with experts with regards to its care. It is still uncertain whether the fracture will heal, but our vets are happy with its progress. It’s hard to believe anyone would shoot a bird – but this is becoming far too common in today’s society. These birds are shot and left to suffer and we have to pick up the pieces.”

Jenny Shelton, RSPB investigations liaison officer, said: “It is appalling to hear that someone has shot a peregrine falcon – a bird which is already of conservation concern in the UK. Peregrines are magnificent, agile birds and will be breeding at this time of year, so taking out this young female may impact her chances of producing young this year.

This incident is part of an ongoing problem with raptor persecution in the UK. This is the fifth report of a peregrine with shotgun wounds we have received already this year, but as yet no-one has been brought to account. This, as most people would agree, is simply not acceptable.”

If you have any information relating to this incident, contact Sussex Police online, email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or phone 101, quoting serial 420 of 19/05. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you find a wild bird which you suspect has been illegally killed or harmed, contact police or RSPB investigations on 01767 680551, or fill in the online form here

8 Responses to “Peregrine found shot in Ninfield, East Sussex”

  1. 1 Tony Dickinson
    May 27, 2017 at 11:24 am

    More barbaric actions by people who have no shame. Find them, prosecute them, jail them.

  2. May 27, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I am told that the,’ shooting for pleasure industry’ is growing. the magazines I see in the supermarket encourage youngsters to get shooting. Sadly I fear that this kind of wildlife crime will continue until shooting our wildlife for fun is considered an act against nature and unacceptable to the civilised . Sales of all types of guns need very strict control and shooting clubs too, and with age restrictions. Peregrines are one of my very loved birds. so sad and fed up with all this killing. that this should be done to this beautiful bird is too awful.

  3. 3 Les Wallace
    May 27, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    On the plus side interest in falconry and bird of prey shows has never been higher – but yes it’s difficult to see how genuine conservation and extensive shooting for fun can sit side by side, clearly that’s not happening. The claims the shooting business make regarding its contribution to conservation need to be openly challenged by the real wildlife organisations, too much pap is being foisted on the public and all too often swallowed hook, line and sinker – it’s almost certain rainforest is being lost to produce soymeal to feed pheasant that ends up as road kill, a fox’s supper, stinkpit fodder or goes to landfill. Many of our woods are choked with invasive non native plants originally planted out as game cover. Shooting for fun needs to be declining not growing, won’t help our wildlife if it does or respect for animal welfare.

  4. 4 Iain Buik
    May 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Managed to flick through a cetain shooting monthly magazine to find an arcticle on how Goshawks are desimating the countryside in Galloway (grouse moor…now there’s a suprise!) a couple of days later news that a Sparrowhawk is found shot, could this be a correlation? Or just a coincidence. Perhaps we should be targeting what and who is advocating this anti raptor stuff for inciting crime. Although it would not take that much manipulation of motivate those involved in raptor killing

  5. 5 chris lock
    May 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    It would be nice to see the people responsible prosecuted and punished in a substantial waty.

  6. 6 Carole
    May 27, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Recently, I counted 11 different shooting related magazines in W.H.Smith and only one relating to birdwatching.
    We need to counteract this propaganda which encourages the demonising of natural predators. Violence seems to be the answer to everything these days.

  7. 7 Greer Hart, senior
    May 29, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Lew Wallace is correct about a growing interest in shooting and hunting. One of our main national newspapers carried a two-pager story recently, on a young woman training to become a gamekeeper. As we know, despite there being the chance that there are some law-abiding and humane gamekeepers, that occupation has a serious taint attached to it, due to the persecution of Birds of Prey, and the unnecessary annual slaughter of Mountain Hares.

    Away back in the good old days of many willing to go out on protests outside vivisection laboratories, fur shops, butchers shops selling exotic meats, slaughter houses, Beagle breeding farms for laboratories, and other places where cruelty to animals was involved, we could count on students and members of the public, both youthful and elderly. Anti-fox hunting brought out good numbers of protesters and saboteurs. Nowadays, it is difficult inspiring our present younger generation to come out to challenge animal abuse, and work for the conservation of our wildlife, in sufficient and convincing numbers. Yet, here we are getting an ethical vacuum. That empty space should be filled with well-informed and determined members of the public and the student body, to come out regularly to challenge weak Government response to the disgraceful power the shooting lobby has over those who should be striving to making life a legal misery for those killing protected wildlife. Anger is out there, as we can see with so much noise prior to this General Election, for all sorts of issues relating to human welfare, but surely some of it could be diverted to dealing blows to those persecuting wild creatures that have a right to live?

    The task should now be to make sure we are presenting our knowledge of the dreadful events prevailing in our countryside, and why we have an ethical obligation to ensure that we remove a long-outdated and cruel form of rural activity, that has become all-dominating and egregious in its behaviour, and its belief that it is unassailable due to its sympathisers in Government and institutions that require a good cleansing, and new and humane people installed in power. We should also be discouraging companies rewarding their top workers with falconry courses and going on shoots. My generation thought we had won the battles against animal abuse, and sat back on our oars, while the current moved along fast taking us to the present situation of a world facing the extinction of many species, and whole ecologically important systems being cleared, forever gone.

  8. 8 Mr T
    May 31, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Without wishing to point fingers, and given the location, this has the whiff of racing pigeon community all over it. While we talk a lot about DGS, and rightly so, there are others out there who wish death to raptors too. Well done to this female for surviving more than one attack.

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