Cairngorms National Park Authority finally issues statement on illegally poisoned birds

At the end of May we learned, via a Police Scotland statement, that four dead geese had been discovered in April 2019 by estate workers on the Pitmain Estate, nr Kingussie, in the Cairngorms National Park.

Subsequent post-mortem examination of the birds found that they died as a result of ingesting a banned pesticide.

On 25 May 2019, a week after the news broke, we reported that the response to this latest wildlife crime and the use of a deadly poison that is so dangerous that it’s actually an offence to possess it, let alone use it, was as follows:

Cairngorms National Park Authority – silence

Grant Moir, Chief Executive Cairngorms National Park Authority – silence

Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment – silence

Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment – silence

Kate Forbes MSP, in whose constituency the poisoned birds were found – silence

PAW Scotland – silence

Scot Gov Greener, ‘the official Twitter channel of the Scottish Government covering the environment and rural economy’ – silence

However, on Monday 10th June 2019 the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) finally released a joint statement with Police Scotland that was posted on the CNPA website and was also tweeted from the CNPA twitter account:

‘Illegally poisoned geese’ would have been a stronger headline than simply ‘dead geese’ but nevertheless, it’s good to see the CNPA finally alerting its website readers and social media followers to this crime.

It’s also interesting that a small container was found and that it had traces of the banned poison on it or in it. We await further updates.

In the meantime, has the CNPA decided to do anything else to warn the public about the immediate threat to life in this part of the National Park? Have they distributed posters and flyers in the local community in and around Kingussie? Put up warning signs in car parks and on paths near to where the poisoned birds were found? Put warning notices in places frequented by visiting tourists who may not be avid readers of the news section of the CNPA website?

If not, why not?

The North Pennines AONB recently did all of this and more in response to the discovery of two shot buzzards on their patch (see here) – it was a brilliant response and should be the blueprint for how all these so-called ‘Protected Area’ Boards and Partnerships need to respond to such criminality.

There can be no more excuses. Stop shielding the criminals.

4 Responses to “Cairngorms National Park Authority finally issues statement on illegally poisoned birds”

  1. 1 AndyH
    June 13, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    “But they’re only geese” some people might say, “We won’t miss a few geese”.
    Perhaps if a dog did succumb to whatever the poison is then the whole country would soon get to know about it.
    There are some Cairngormless people involved in managing the National Park.

  2. 2 Doug Malpus
    June 13, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    I recently reported a wildlife crime to Cumbria Police, I also reported to the Lake Rangers on Windermere.

    While canoeing on Windermere with a group of youths that I am training for their Duke of Edinburgh expedition, I witnessed the following incident.

    The incident involved one of the many idiots that drive wakeboard boats at speeds greater than the legal limit.

    In this case the boat was towing a boarder, the driver closely circled a large flock of geese (approx 100), when the geese gathered tightly together, the boat was then driven through the middle of the flock causing much panic amongst the birds. I don’t know how many birds were killed or wounded.

    I reported to the Lake Rangers within minutes of the incident. The police told me they would not be pursuing the case and would leave matters in the hands of the Rangers.

    I sent a report to the RSPB and over a week later they have not responded.

    Sometimes I wonder why I bother but I will continue to bother?


  3. 4 Douglas Malpus
    June 17, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    I have received a reply from RSPB. This is their message:

    Good afternoon Douglas

    Thank you for submitting a webcrime report regarding the incident at Lake Windermere.

    I understand the incident would have been distressing for the birds. You’ve done the right thing in terms of reporting it to both the police and the rangers and unfortunately there’s nothing more that we would be able to do. It would be the responsibility of the rangers and the national park to ensure safety on the lakes. Geese are not protected from disturbance but if they killed or injured one of the birds then this would be a wildlife crime.

    Unfortunately, we can only advise on the law, we cannot enforce it as we do not have the powers but rest assured we do take reports like this very seriously.

    I hope this helps and thank you again for reporting it to us.

    Kind regards

    Katie Nethercoat
    Supporter Adviser (Wildlife)

    I will pass on a report to RSPCA. Thanks Dougie.

    It is frustrating when all the responses are negative.


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