Lothian MSP Alison Johnstone speaks out on Pentlands poisoned peregrine

Following yesterday’s news that a peregrine has been found poisoned in the Pentland Hills (here), Alison Johnstone MSP (Scottish Greens, Lothian) has issued a statement:

Peregrine falcon found dead in the Pentland Hills

The Raptor Persecution UK blog has revealed that a peregrine falcon was found dead in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh earlier this year.

I am deeply saddened that yet another bird of prey has been illegally killed in the Pentland hills, just a few miles from the city of Edinburgh. Scotland’s birds of prey are supposedly protected, yet persecution is rife and rarely met with justice.

That a protected species could be killed using a deadly poison in a regional park that is visited by over half a million people every year is shocking. I will be asking questions of the Scottish Government and Police Scotland to get to the bottom of this failure to protect our wildlife and the public. But it also raises a wider disregard for the law amongst certain parts of the land management community that the Scottish Government is failing to counter effectively. We urgently need to see wildlife crime taken seriously and backed up with sufficient resources and tougher penalties.


Bravo, Alison!

We’re still waiting for a statement from the Scottish Government.

What does it take? Does the peregrine’s poisoned corpse need to be dumped on the First Minister’s desk? Obviously that would be a recklessly dangerous move – one touch from Nicola Sturgeon and her skin could absorb the highly toxic poison and kill her.

Just as one touch of that dead peregrine laying by the public footpath from a passing walker, a child or a pet dog could have proved fatal.

UPDATE 10 October 2018: BBC News website running with the peregrine poisoning story (here)

UPDATE 10 October 2018: Armed criminals running amok in Pentland Hills nr Edinburgh (here)

15 Responses to “Lothian MSP Alison Johnstone speaks out on Pentlands poisoned peregrine”

  1. 1 Nigel Raby
    October 10, 2018 at 8:31 am

    All we ever hear are fine words but nothing ever gets done!

  2. October 10, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I wonder if other Edinburgh and nearby MSPs will follow suit. Their constituents, their children and dogs have been put at risk by the failure of the police/COPFS to publicise the danger that poison baits represent.
    Or is there some greater good that keeping quiet may have achieved. I can’t think of anything.

  3. 4 R Stuart Craig
    October 10, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Is this just more MSP hot air / vote catching….why would she say Peregrine Falcons are “Supposedly protected” – there is no “supposedly” about it they are 100% protected by Law.

  4. October 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    It shows the inept style the law have, they must be able to nail someonr here, if they were interested.

    • October 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      Come on Chris, you’ve been reading this blog for long enough to know that that statement is pretty unfair.

      The level of evidence required to secure a prosecution is immense. Look at the Skibo case as a classic example – three poisoned golden eagles found on the estate, along with a dead grouse staked out and covered in poison to act as a bait. The head keeper/sporting manager was found to have a massive stash (over 10kg, enough to kill every raptor in the UK) of the banned poison Carbofuran in a locked outbuilding to which he had sole access. Even this was evidence was insufficient to charge him with poisoning those eagles. The police could not demonstrate that the poison used to kill the eagles had been laid out by the keeper. Instead he was charged, prosecuted and convicted for the lesser offence of ‘possession of a banned substance’.

      That’s not to say the police are perfect – there are many examples of cock-ups – but to suggest they are all disinterested simply isn’t true.

      • 8 Simon Tucker
        October 10, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        What it shows is that the laws are badly framed and difficult to apply successfully: a failure of governance. In teh case of England, one has to suspect that is deliberate, in Scotland one would hope the SNP are not as corrupt.

  5. 9 Dougie
    October 10, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    ” in Scotland one would hope etc…….”
    Unfortunately hope is a snare that traps well intentioned people in an illusory state removed from reality.
    Those in Holyrood have had more than enough time to address the endless problems continuously detailed by RP and the other like minded groups and individuals. They have overwhelmingly failed to take effective action. Holyrood will not improve matters. They have other fish to fry.

    • October 14, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      She is a Green. She is trying to hold the Scottish government to account. Isn’t that good? Isn’t that what we are trying to do.
      I have written to my SMP and he, a former Environmental Minister, has written to Cunningham.
      Of course we will get the usual stock response but i have no doubt all our efforts especially RPUK are having an effect.

  6. 11 Jimmy
    October 10, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Highlights again the failure of the SNP led government there to take on those who harbour these criminals

  7. 12 Dougie
    October 11, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    I note that the identity of the poison used has not been made public. Why is that so ? There appears to be a strategy in place to deny the public knowledge. Who is behind all the secrecy and protection of criminals ?
    I see no evidence of there being any real will within government to address criminal activity. All we get is empty talk.

  8. 13 Tony Warburton MBE
    October 13, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Sorry. For once I am disappointed with these responses from the RPUK followers. Not one of you has congratulated Alison for her response, and if you want MP’s and MSP’s to help us beat the oafs, it might have been better if you had waited until we see what she does next before denouncing her. I just wish there were others with the balls to react in the way she has.

    • 14 Nigel Raby
      October 13, 2018 at 11:44 pm

      OK lets congratulate Alison for saying what should be said. For saying what any right minded person would say, For saying what someone in her position is expected to say. Congrats Alison, Well Done. Unfortunately it changes nothing, as the people with the money & the so called power carry on as they wish in the certainty that nothing will ever be done. The most sickening thing are the Plebs, the bog standard people not unlike me that work for & carry out the misdeeds and wishes of the upper class twits & the well healed bankers in order to pull their forelocks and keep their jobs!

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