Police warning as dog dies from banned pesticide at Muir of Ord, Ross-shire

From North Star News, 16 March 2018:


THE death of a dog has prompted a police probe and sparked a warning to members of the public to avoid walking in an area of Muir of Ord.

Police said this afternoon that acting on information received following the death of a local dog, searches were carried out in the vicinity of Faebait Farm near Muir of Ord yesterday.

A statement released today said: “Following consultation with the Scottish Government Rural Payments Directorate, Police Scotland is requesting that dog walkers and members of the public do not enter the fields in the area of Faebait Farm or the immediate vicinity until further notice.”

Inspector Mike Middlehurst said: “This is a precautionary request until the investigation is complete.

Traces of a banned pesticide has been detected in the area and we do not wish a member of the public, another dog or any other animal to become unwell where it can be avoided.

I can confirm that the dog that died belonged to the owners of Faebait Farm.

They are co-operating fully with the investigation and support this request to other members of the public and dog owners.

Police have asked that anybody who has information about banned pesticide possession or misuse should contact Police Scotland immediately on 101 or pass on information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


So far, the police have not revealed the name of the banned pesticide(s) involved. It has to be one of eight active ingredients banned by the Possession of Pesticides (Scotland) Order 2005:

Aldicarb, Alphachloralose, Aluminium Phosphide, Bendiocarb, Carbofuran, Mevinphos, Sodium Cynaide, Strychnine.

Four years ago, almost to the day, 22 birds of prey (16 red kites and 6 buzzards) were found dead in a small area of Ross-shire close to Conon Bridge. Toxicology tests revealed poisoning by the banned pesticides Aldicarb, Carbofuran and Carbosulfan. The case became known as the Ross-shire Massacre, for which nobody was ever prosecuted.

The Muir of Ord lies 3.5 miles to the south of Conon Bridge.

20 Responses to “Police warning as dog dies from banned pesticide at Muir of Ord, Ross-shire”

  1. 1 John Keith
    March 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Getting so fed up of this; when is somebody going to be held to account?

  2. 3 Alex Milne
    March 16, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    I hope that Police Scotland will now routinely warn people if poison is suspected in an area, even before proven.
    The public, not the possible poisoners, should be the priority in such cases.

  3. 4 Les Wallace
    March 16, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    This is awful, suspect the dog didn’t die quickly or painlessly.

  4. 5 George M
    March 16, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    This is the time when red kites are leaving their winter roosts and returning to nesting areas. Coincidence?

  5. March 17, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    In my experience when a farm/sheepdog gets poisoned people suddenly remember whos been doing it…lets be optimistic here..[and thats not easy in this game].

  6. 10 Tony Warburton MBE
    March 17, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Certainly it will have been a very painful death if it was strychnine Les.

  7. 11 Dillan
    March 17, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    I wonder if the police have learned from their previous shambles when 22 kites were poisoned.

    Informing the landowner prior to carrying out searches was a very bad decision.

    Wonder what the exact extent of ‘local searches carried out’ actually means.

    Trust is a product of transparency and police wildlife crime network has proved the be less than truthful up till now.

    Wonder if any partner agencies have been invited to assist.

  8. 12 J .Coogan
    March 17, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    “Police warning” , that’s amazing I didn’t think there were any police up there.

  9. 13 Jimmy
    March 17, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    These scum have no respect for life at any level

  10. March 17, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Every time a wildlife poisoning involving a dangerous [to humans] poison [such as the carbamates routinely reported on scottish shooting estates] is detected and analysed, the local police should put out a similar warning. Imagine how many there would have been by now, even if we only consider the last decade?. All too often there is little or no local knowledge about these crimes – more publicity would get people asking the right questions for a change.

  11. 15 Pip
    March 18, 2018 at 8:57 am

    “do not enter the fields in the area of Faebait Farm or the immediate vicinity until further notice.” Normally farmers are pretty aware of what’s going on in the vicinity of their farm – especially with the number of thefts from farmland and buildings. Hmmmmmm…………of course let’s not be too hasty here, perhaps birds weren’t the “target” as such and perhaps it was a simple case of some person unknown wishing to actually poison a particular dog (or any dog for that matter) or a fox, or an otter from the river Conon. And only time will tell (or more likely not as the case may be) – Pip

  12. 16 J .Coogan
    March 18, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Damned Putin again!

  13. 17 Ros berrington
    March 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Am I being over the top in seeing some hypocrisy in the reaction to human lives being put at risk by an illegal nerve agent in Salisbury and the reaction to human lives being put at risk by an illegal pesticide in rural Scotland? Surely both should be equally condemned and action demanded.

    • 18 Marc Lamont
      March 18, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      Police , Scottish Government, Copfs have been a complete disaster with wildlife crime for many years.
      Very few lessons have been learned and enforcement has on the whole gone backwards.
      This is exactly what the game shooting industry wants.

      That is why some are so strongly in favour of only having the police investigating wildlife crime. (Because they won’t or cant)

      SNP could change this situation but obviously cannot stand up to landowners and the sporting industry. Not to mention Fergus Ewing.

      Thankfully there are MSPs with principles and are willing to stand up for Scotlands environment.
      Andy Wightman and Mark Ruskall.

      Vote Green

  14. March 18, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Is ‘faebait’ what gamekeepers put out to feed the birds of prey?

  15. 20 Roberta Mouse
    March 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Were that my dog I would NEVER stop seeking justice…even if of the summary kind. Sick of reading about these outrages against our wildlife !

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