Yorkshire police investigate suspicious death of buzzard found with head injuries

Press release from Humberside Police (2 Oct 2018):


We are investigating the suspicious death of a common buzzard found at the end of August in the western area of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

X-rays of the bird show that it has previously suffered shotgun injuries as three shotgun pellets were found embedded in the bird.  The shotgun pellets are not thought to have caused its death and when the bird was found it had recent injuries to its head consistent with being confined in a cage trap.

[Photos by Humberside Police]

Wildlife Crime Officer PC 1708 Ward said,

However this bird met its end it has previously been shot. Raptor persecution is a National Wildlife Crime priority which we take very seriously. Whatever anyone’s feelings are towards birds of prey there is no excuse for this type of criminality.

It’s sad that such practices are still common place. Due to the nature of these crimes they are difficult to detect. If you have information about anyone persecuting birds of prey we want to know.

I can be contacted in confidence via 101 and your information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality“.

Anyone with information regarding the above incident should call us on the non-emergency number 101 quoting investigation number 16/99978/18 which is being dealt with by WCO PC 1529 Day.

The attached images may cause distress and are property of Humberside Police

Note to press: No one is available for interview regarding this news story.


There’s no detail about the location other than “the western area of the East Riding of Yorkshire“. Here’s a Google map showing East Riding:

UPDATE 20 February 2019: Buzzard shot and poisoned in East Yorkshire: police renew appeal for info (here)


14 Responses to “Yorkshire police investigate suspicious death of buzzard found with head injuries”

  1. 1 amadan
    October 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    What might be the motivation behind being so vague about the location for this particular incident? They have narrowed down the location to a 500 square mile area. For every other incident on Humberside Police’s social media, the location of the incident is narrowed down to a town or street.

    • 2 crypticmirror
      October 3, 2018 at 12:10 am

      Probably the same motivation behind waiting a month to issue a press release. If they were prompt and specific then they might have to arrest someone. Probably someone who is well connected too.

  2. 3 Simon Tucker
    October 2, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I could not agree more with amadan. Why hide the location? They say wildlife crime is a priority and then make damned clear that they are merely paying lip-service to placate the public and mouthing platitudes to pretend they mean it. Sick of it!

    • 4 Dougie
      October 2, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      “Raptor persecution is a National Wildlife Crime priority which we take very seriously.”
      …………….The usual cliched platitude that is trotted out.

      “Note to press: No one is available for interview regarding this news story.” ………….. Isn’t that a surprise !

      They expect people to help, but cannot specify a locus nor get an appeal out immediately the bird is found.
      Why cannot they put some sensible effort into these matters.

  3. 5 Chris Dobson
    October 2, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    This happened end of August, & they’re only asking now? They won’t say where? This stinks!

    • 6 Dougie
      October 2, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Happens all of the time. Par for the course.
      I don’t understand how they get away with it.

      • 7 crypticmirror
        October 3, 2018 at 7:47 pm

        The institutions which should be overseeing police effectiveness are staffed and governed by chaps from the hunting, shooting, and fishing social classes; and the NGOs and pressure groups are too busy trying to show how cooperative and “civil” they can be to force a change through other measures.

        TL;DR? They get away with it, because we let them.

  4. 8 George Sainsbury
    October 2, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    The Police are part of the problem. Give wildlife crime issues to the RSPCA.

    • 9 Tom Gun
      October 3, 2018 at 4:41 pm


      Fully agree.

      Police are clearly not able to deal with wildlife crime. They need to be honest about this.

      No need to take anything away from the police simply support RSPCA in England and SSPCA in Scotland to be able to investigate wildlife crime as well. They seen the truly expert in animal issues and treat crimes against animals as a priority.

      This will bring additional resources to the table and increase enforcement.

  5. 10 Dylanben
    October 3, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I doubt that the Police would prevaricate like this without good reason. There may be more to the case than meets the eye.

    • 11 Dougie
      October 3, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      I would be interested to hear of any case where they have not prevaricated. Waiting 5 or 6 weeks to make a public announcement is one of their faster performances. Wasting many months is common.
      They have zero excuse. Immediately a dead raptor is found and if it is NOT obvious that it did not die “lawfully” then there is no reason why an announcement cannot be made and simply stating the place and time and that the circumstances are suspicious – please report anything that may be of help etc.

      What currently happens is that nothing is made public until the trail has long gone cold.

    • 12 Tom Gun
      October 4, 2018 at 9:29 am

      Sorry could disagree more. Police commonly and routinely fail to conduct a proper investigation in wildlife crime matters.

      Thanks to RPUK making information available to the public . Police have attracted critisism as a result on many occasions for failing to investigate incidents appropriately.

      As a result some now feel putting out a belated press release will reduce any future negative press. Press releases are not a alternative to a proper investigation.

      Particularly when it’s months later with insufficient details to identify any witnesses or information.

      This is lip service.

      • 13 Dougie
        October 4, 2018 at 12:18 pm

        ” lip service ” ………. sure is that all right and for it to have been their modus operandi for so long is indicative that those who oversee their activities are well satisfied with this state of affairs.

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