13
Aug
19

Young golden eagle flying around Cairngorms National Park with an illegal trap clamped to its leg

This is beyond what is tolerable.

Police Scotland have issued the following statement this evening:

Appeal to trace golden eagle in Aberdeenshire

Officers are appealing for information to help locate a Golden eagle which was seen flying in the Crathie area of Deeside with what appears to be a trap attached to its leg.

Concerns were raised about the first-year eagle on Thursday August 8, 2019, by a tourist and there are serious concerns for the bird’s welfare.  Enquiries are ongoing in conjunction with our partner agencies including the RSPB.

Sergeant Kim Wood said: “We would encourage anyone who has information which could help to locate this eagle to contact the Police on 101 or another relevant authority as soon as possible.”

ENDS

This is an area where illegally-set spring traps were found on a driven grouse moor in 2016 (here). There was no prosecution (see here).

The photograph of this eagle has re-ignited a fury that’s been gathering strength for several months.

It began with the suspicious disappearance of two of our satellite-tagged golden eagles, Adam and Charlie, who vanished on the same April morning, on the same grouse moor, within a few hours of one another.

A short time later we learned that an RSPB-satellite-tagged hen harrier had been found dead on a nearby grouse moor with its leg gripped by an illegal trap.

A few weeks later we learned of another hen harrier caught in an illegally-set spring trap. This time it was a breeding male and the trap had been set by his nest. He was still alive when raptor workers found him but in great distress. His trapped leg was almost severed. A specialist wildlife vet from the SSPCA did his very best to save this bird, but unfortunately the harrier’s injuries were just too severe and he didn’t make it. A second trap was found actually in the harrier’s nest, placed next to two eggs. There was no sign of the breeding female.

The Scottish Government’s response to these horrendous crimes? Absolute silence for weeks, and then acting under huge public pressure, a pathetic statement that said ‘We’ve got to wait for the Werritty Review‘ – that’s the report on grouse moor management that we’ve been waiting for since May 2017.

And now this. A young golden eagle flying around with an illegal trap clamped to its leg. It’s quite likely this eagle is already dead.

I’m sorry, Nicola Sturgeon, Roseanna Cunningham and Mairi Gougeon, as much as I admire you as strong, intelligent female politicians, I am no longer prepared to make excuses for you. It is your collective failure to act decisively that has led to these continuing atrocities.

If any blog readers share this sense of fury and exasperation, now is the time to act. Here are two things you can do:

  1. Send an email to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and let her know, clearly but politely, that as the leader of the Scottish Government she needs to step up, show some leadership and take immediate action. Please send your emails to: FirstMinister@gov.scot
  2. Sign this new petition (launched tonight by Wild Justice) calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting – see here.

Thank you


103 Responses to “Young golden eagle flying around Cairngorms National Park with an illegal trap clamped to its leg”


  1. 1 Wild Detection
    August 13, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Sure we saw this bird in February in exactly the same location. It was too high to identify what it was in the area of its talons at the time. We thought it was carrying something and remember thinking how odd it looked. Seeing the photo here we are positive it was the same bird. Incredible it has survived this long

    • 2 7Y
      August 13, 2019 at 10:37 pm

      Probably what you saw WD was another poor buggar

      • 3 Dougie
        August 14, 2019 at 3:49 pm

        Yes, I would guess that survival after trapping would be counted in days. Perhaps a week or two at most.
        Some people (including politicians) in this country should be permanently fitted with a ball and chain.

        • 4 Andrew
          August 15, 2019 at 12:19 pm

          Forget the ball and chain. How about a bear trap on their ankle or even just one of those spring traps on their hand for a week?

  2. 5 jenny
    August 13, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    this is a disgrace, how people can do this is unbelievable

  3. August 13, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    I have not been this angry about an event since the Crown office Procurator Fiscal Service decided (in my opinion without lawful justification) to drop several cases which were already in court several times but presumably “the establishment” did not want the persons convicted. Gamekeepers think they have the fiscal service in their pocket. Although I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has decided to up the maximum punishment to 5 years, that is by no means enough to ensure that when the RSPB next has concrete evidence of crimes being committed, it will get to court. I’ve signed the petition but I expect the Scottish government to do much more, Werritty Report or not. No doubt we will hear that this trap was likely set by a birdwatcher, or that the photograph is fake, but we all know the truth. The raptor killers are laughing at the Scottish government who must respond forcefully. That would not be a knee jerk reaction, but the action of a government at the end of it’s tether.

  4. 7 Peter Skipworth
    August 13, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    This barbaric maiming and killing of wildlife just so that psychopaths can shot game must be stopped

  5. 9 Don Kirk
    August 13, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Time for talking is over, the government must now start taking action, cut subsidies to estate owners who allow employees to set these traps, use poison or even shoot Birds of prey. The police must be given greater powers to enable them to investigate these crimes, the courts should be told to impose stiffer penalties on anyone found guilty.

  6. 10 Coop
    August 13, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    And the scum are (predictably) claiming on fb that this is a set-up, by someone who stole the trap!

    • 11 Les Wallace
      August 13, 2019 at 11:50 pm

      Mixed emotions, fury at that disgusting picture, incredible pleasure the BDGS petition is on the go again and in its first day is nearing 12,000 signatures! One point it may be worth approaching the League Against Cruel Sports to ask them to support it, they supported it last time and it brought in thousands of signatures – under a change of management will they still do so?

    • August 14, 2019 at 11:19 am

      Wait for some idiot to complain that a Golden Eagle has stolen his trap.

  7. 13 Joy Cook
    August 13, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Heartbreaking. PLEASE do try and prevent this horrific practice.

  8. 14 AndyH
    August 13, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    I can’t find the petition from the Wild Justice link above..?

    Ed: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/266770

  9. 16 Loki
    August 13, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Dear Ms Sturgeon

    I learn that the primary goal of the Scottish government is to protect the economy.

    Today, a horrific image was released of a Scottish golden eagle flying with a gamekeeper’s trap attached to its leg.

    Why has the Scottish Government failed to act robustly to end the persecution of our raptors once and for all?

    Is the game bird shooting industry really contributing that much to the coffers? Recent research does not suggest so.

    We do not need more reviews, more research or more prevaricating.

    The time has come to act now.

    Yours sincerely

    %%%%%%

  10. 17 sog
    August 13, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    There’s the Cairngorms National Park Authority, I’m not sure what good, if any, they might do. Their address for complaints is…

    enquiries@cairngorms.co.uk

    • 18 Lizzybusy
      August 14, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      The Cairngorms National Park is conducting a consultation on its future economic development strategy. Tell them what you think.

      https://cairngorms.co.uk/working-partnership/national-park-strategies/economic-strategy/

    • 19 sog
      August 15, 2019 at 11:42 am

      I’ve had this response…

      Thank you for your email below.

      The picture of the golden eagle with a trap caught in its talons is indeed distressing and is unacceptable in a National Park.

      We are working with Police Scotland and SNH to try and end this sort of thing in the Park. We are developing a raptor mortality tracker to precisely locate any illegal activity on sporting estates. We are working with key estates to increase the number of raptors on those estates. We have given evidence to the Werritty grouse management review on raptor persecution in the Park.

      I can assure you that we take this issue very seriously and are working with partners and Government to try and end illegal raptor persecution in the Park.

      Our Chief Executive, Grant Moir, has made a public statement on this issue (see link below)

      Yours sincerely

      … to me, there’s no real substance in the reply and the twitter statement, but we must be grateful, I suppose.

      My immediate thought was – which key estates. If they are the ones in the Partnership, that’s hardly changing old habits elsewhere.

      • 20 Lizzybusy
        August 21, 2019 at 2:47 pm

        To whom it may concern

        You will be aware of a press statement which Police Scotland issued with a photo showing a golden eagle flying around with its legs trapped in a spring trap near Balmoral Castle, Crathie. Wildlife crime on shooting estates seems to be committed with impunity and silence from organisations which supposedly oversee best practice in the area.

        What do you intend to do about the matter to address this national disgrace?

        Dear xxx

        Thank you for your email below.

        The picture of the golden eagle with a trap caught in its talons is indeed distressing and is unacceptable in a National Park.

        We are working with Police Scotland and SNH to try and end this sort of thing in the Park. We are developing a raptor mortality tracker to precisely locate any illegal activity on sporting estates. We are working with key estates to increase the number of raptors on those estates. We have given evidence to the Werritty grouse management review on raptor persecution in the Park.

        I can assure you that we take this issue very seriously and are working with partners and Government to try and end illegal raptor persecution in the Park.

        Yours sincerely

        Pete Mayhew

        Dear Mr Mayhew

        Thank you for your prompt reply. I appreciate that.

        Do you intend to demonstrate your organisation’s outrage and determination to tackle this latest shocking crime by issuing a press statement urging locals and tourists in the area to try to find the bird and provide intelligence to the police on a potential suspect? A press release from your organisation and the Balmoral Estate would send out a powerful message of intent to tackle and stamp out these disgusting offences, wouldn’t it.

        Also, what sanctions does your organisation operate to deter the organisations from continuing their illegal activities where illegal conduct has been identified?

        Thank you.

        Dear xxx

        Our CEO (Grant Moir) put out the following on Twitter yesterday:

        CNPA has no statutory powers as regards wildlife crime. We work with partner agencies such as Police Scotland, SNH etc to investigate cases such as this. It is possible this may change with the Werritty review. We await that review and the Government ‘s response.

        Best wishes

        Pete Mayhew

  11. 21 AndyH
    August 13, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    My letter to the First Minister…

    Dear First Minister

    Please act NOW to help our natural heritage before the grouse industry decimates our birds of prey, amongst many other species of fauna that our uplands hold.
    I know that it will be difficult to sort out the current mess our uplands are experiencing, but there have been too many years of procrastination when it comes to reforming driven grouse shooting.
    Werritty review or not, NOW is the time for action; there are criminals on our moors, and they need to be brought to justice in the same way that other criminals are dealt with.
    Many people are working hard to prevent the persecution of raptors, but without the back up of the Government there is not much chance of stopping the perpetrators of wildlife crime.
    When I visit Scotland I want to see the hills alive with the fauna and flora that they should hold – I don’t want to see vast tracts of burnt heather, traps and snares, stink pits and grouse butts.
    The Victorian past-time of driven grouse shooting is long past its sell-by date.
    Please, please take this subject to the top – NOW!

    Regards

    AndyH

  12. 22 Patricia
    August 13, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Please this must be stopped and all other animals saved from slaughter on the killing feilds of grouse moors

  13. 23 chris hawkins
    August 13, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    Another tragic reported sighting only a day after the start (to a sad few) of this year’s ‘eaglely’ awaited glorious slaughter on Scottish Moors. Surely the barbaric and historically out-dated days of Grouse shooting are seriously numbered…The sickness continues…

  14. 24 Ron Bury
    August 13, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    What an advert for tourism to Scotland. Wonderful scenery (Barren grass, rock and burned heather) and fantastic wildlife. Get here quick before it’s all gone.

  15. 25 Patricia
    August 14, 2019 at 12:13 am

    This is so sad and makes me angry how can humans be so naive

  16. 26 Janet Hoptroff
    August 14, 2019 at 1:23 am

    So sad to see this. Appalling silence from Nicola Sturgeon… The Scottish Government has a duty of care to its Wildlife, and it’s so past time that it started taking its responsibilities seriously… First step an immediate ban of Driven Grouse Moor Shooting.
    (Written and signed.)

  17. 27 Colin S.
    August 14, 2019 at 2:41 am

    Another e mail sent to the First Minister on daily growing litany of despicable raptor crime. What else has to happen before the Scottish government finally acts?

    Maybe we should just deliver all the dead birds to Nicolas desk to show her the proof of what the ” innocent ” ….. eh not Grouse shooting industry is responsible for in a law abiding sort of way of course.
    I await with bated breath the no doubt standard response from some government official on her behalf.

    Keep up the pressure people we will win in the end.

  18. 28 Dawn Felton
    August 14, 2019 at 7:35 am

    This is disgraceful stop this now we need to protect our wildlife not murder it!!!

  19. 29 Nigel
    August 14, 2019 at 7:42 am

    What a disgrace!

  20. August 14, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Barbaric. So cruel. STOP THIS NOW!!

  21. 31 Robb Allen
    August 14, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Yet another petition, yet another Email to the first minister! Yet more silence as they watch YET another crime against wildlife. This is sickening I hope wild justice can do something using this sickening image this time!

  22. 32 Paul Fisher
    August 14, 2019 at 8:39 am

    I saw this post just before retiring last night. Not normally lost for words, all I could think of to do was pass your post to people who may not have seen it. What is there left to be said?
    Much as I admire the many great things the RSPB do, they have got this one badly wrong. Licensing will change nothing. Licensing will only play into the hands of landowners and give them another twenty years(at least) of fudge, misinformation and prevarication.
    If you license something, you have to police it, you have to have the funds and the manpower to police it and crucially, you have to have the WILL to police it. Our ruling classes have no intention or vested interest in doing so.
    The RSPB must change tack on this. Licensing will not stop persecution on our quite and remote moorlands, it won’t stop the wholesale slaughter of our wildlife. It won’t prevent gamekeepers from burning our lands, drying out our peat bogs. It will do nothing to lessen the effects of climate change, of flooding, and it will nothing to add to the natural fauna of our hills.
    We need to ask the RSPB to reconsider their call for licensing and they need to do so urgently.
    Our hills should be ‘Natures Home’.

    RSPB lifer.

    • 33 Les Wallace
      August 14, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Well said. There’s no way driven grouse shooting will ever be compatible with conservation – a whole landscape and its ecology being manipulated to produce a super abundance of one species. That’s intensive farming, but for ‘fun’ not food and real conservation has little importance if it’s cast aside for the most flippant and ludicrous of reasons. Sadly this excess is becoming the standard not the exception across the field sport sector. All of the conservation organisations need to come together to tackle all of it.

    • 34 Lizzybusy
      August 14, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Exactly.

  23. 35 Paul V Irving
    August 14, 2019 at 8:45 am

    This is just too much and I am incandescent with anger. This crippled bird will doubtless die a horrible death due to being unable to hunt due to the actions of some subhuman criminal scum and it has to be somehow stopped. I will be writing to the first minister and for what it is worth the Cairngorm NP. Do we know anybody who can get this in all the UK press?
    I’ve actually seen this before, about 12 years ago A colleague and I saw a Peregrine we thought was carrying prey but through telescopes we could see it was a Fenn trap dangling from one leg. Barbaric barely covers it! We did report it but of course nothing happened. This was in that raptor persecution hotspot upper Nidderdale and as they say in Yorkshire “nowts really changed.” Perhaps this time it will signed petition and it will be sent to everyone in my address book.

  24. 36 Rebecca Hislop
    August 14, 2019 at 8:50 am

    I can’t even describe how angry and sick this makes me feel. This barbarity has to stop.

  25. 37 Pinky pryor
    August 14, 2019 at 9:03 am

    This is absolutely horrific

  26. 38 Les Wallace
    August 14, 2019 at 9:41 am

    This picture underlines why the estates have started maligning ordinary walkers for supposedly driving away raptors through the ‘disturbance’ they cause – yes ordinary walkers. Don’t want too many potential witnesses on the moors to see things like this, so we’ll literally kill two birds with one stone and claim they’re driving away the harriers, eagles, peregrines, kites, buzzards. Not enough to try and blame raptor workers anymore. These people really are low life despicable scum from top to bottom.

  27. 39 Cheryl Coleman
    August 14, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Just proves, if it can’t vote, then MPs arnt interested.
    More concerned about their popularity than this cruel, barbaric, evil practise.
    Let’s hope that no Scottish MP is out walking and gets leg caught in one of these traps.

  28. 40 Simon Tucker
    August 14, 2019 at 10:08 am

    It is time that all of these traps were banned. Cruel, unnecessary, catching too many non-target and protected species. Then the police give the shooting estates and farms a 3 month amnesty to hand in their traps and then carry out a systematic search of every estate and its buildings, every gamekeeper’s cottage and every farm looking for criminal equipment. No excuses, this must stop.

  29. 41 Lizzybusy
    August 14, 2019 at 10:12 am

    I’m utterly sickened and furious.

    As for Nicola Sturgeon, Roseanna Cunningham and Mairi Gougeon – this is your last chance! Your silence has to end. Your outrage has to be seen. Your intention to stop this criminality must be demonstrated.

    The League Against Cruel Sports and the National Anti Snare Campaign train people in how to identify illegal snares and traps (including spring traps). Both groups have reporting systems for alerting the police and landowners to their conduct. Please, please, please get trained up and go out on the moors and in those woods! Look for, photograph and report atrocities like this. One day’s training to help end this outrage is nothing is it … so let’s get out there!

  30. 42 sog
    August 14, 2019 at 10:17 am

    I’m curious as to why the trap was not secured to a post or whatever. Could the intent have been that the eagle would fly away with it, thereby removing the evidence from its location?

    • 43 Perseverance Pays
      August 14, 2019 at 12:41 pm

      It both minimises the risk of detection and avoids the necessity for regular checks on the traps. I’ve no doubt that the concept of wanton cruelty engendered by the use of these horrendous devices is totally lost on the morons who use them in this, or indeed any other, way. It is abundantly clear that they have no respect for either life or the law. A total ban on their sale and use would be a good start – snares too.

    • 44 Reece Fowler
      August 14, 2019 at 8:17 pm

      For all we know the person could have forgot to secure it, or maybe they did secure it but if the post or stump was a bit rotten the bird could have been strong enough to pull the staple out and fly away with the trap. Golden eagles are big birds. Unfortunately though we’ll probably never know.

  31. 45 J .Coogan
    August 14, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Agree with above, this goes beyond anger. Trapping by its very nature is a cowardly, degenerate activity. These poor creatures must take weeks to die ,night after night of struggle,unimaginable pain and bewilderment. A similar fate awaits this poor innocent young bird – Why? Surely it is not just my sleep that is disturbed by this, not just my conscience that is haunted by these images. People whom we elect have the power to stop this barbarity, to set a moral compass for us all and they still sit on their hands, they disgust me.

  32. August 14, 2019 at 10:31 am

    The criminologists amongst this blog’s readers may notice an interesting pattern of activity here.

    1) Allegations that evidence has been planted;
    2) Claims that actions are taken as a result of envy or prejudice against a particular group rather than as part of legitimate law enforcement;
    3) Attempts to undermine trust in scientific data and testing;
    4) Targeted abuse and harassment against individuals associated with campaigns for enforcement of the law;
    5) Regular changes of tactics on the ground so that as one method becomes known and notorious there is a move to another.
    6) Careful reliance on the letter of the law ie volunteer nothing, give only “no comment” answers in interview etc.

    These are methods popularly used by organised crime groups. How very strange!

  33. 47 Bimbling
    August 14, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Could I suggest that we also address our responses to Fiona Hyslop too. As Minister for Tourism, which is worth billions to Scotland her attention should be drawn to the harmful and damaging impact on visitor’s perception of the country by images in the news like this. And this is not just ‘nature tourism’, I’d hope that international visitors to ‘Royal’ Deeside would be equally appalled by this picture as birdwatchers on Mull.

    • 48 Paul Fisher
      August 14, 2019 at 11:24 am

      Bumbling, very well said indeed. I have highlighted this very problem to SMPs and the minister. The governments are robbing the very people trying to make tourism work in their own area.
      Millions of pounds in both economys are being wrested from the many in tourism to the few who own land.
      Do please include both ministers for tourism in your letters.

      • 50 Jonathan Wallace
        August 14, 2019 at 1:29 pm

        I believe that if you send your message to her ‘msp@parliament.scot’ address it will be ignored unless you are one of her constituents. You need to contact her via her ministerial e-mail. I have only ever managed to find a generic address for Scottish ministers which is scottish.ministers@gov.scot but you will eventually get a response if you send a letter to this address (I suggest you indicate which minister you are trying to contact in the message header).

  34. 51 Margaret Swaine
    August 14, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Animal cruelty seems to treated with a blind eye in some areas. I hope the culprits will be found and arrested.

  35. 52 Dougie
    August 14, 2019 at 10:44 am

    It is hard to remain calm whilst composing a criticism of this criminal act.

    What we have, in full public view, is evidence of a vile and immensely cruel atrocity.

    The only aspect that is new here is FULL PUBLIC VIEW of a bird that is still flying whilst condemned to death after a long and immensely painful struggle. The cruel criminality that pervades the shooting world is not new, as can be read in the overwhelming numbers of reports in this blog.

    What is now on view is the torture and killing as it happens. Real time evidence of the actions in which perverted people habitually indulge.

    A contributor mentioned “that the Scottish Government has decided to up the maximum punishment to 5 years”. I am not sure what offence that is for, but it will never be applied (just like littering fines which are always a mere tiny fraction of the maximum). It is just the usual claptrap from Holyrood.

    It is fortuitous that the picture was obtained. If there was not a picture, but only a visual sighting reported to the police I do not believe we would not have heard a thing about it.

    Maximum publicity would be useful in this case.

  36. 53 Liza
    August 14, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Dear Ms Sturgeon

    While I accept that the government want to protect the bird shooting industry, there must be a balance and more importantly reform.. the Scottish government must now act to protect the raptors and other wildlife (foxes, stouts and corvids) from being trapped/snared, there must be no place for any trapping its barbaric and grotesque and certainly is not conducive to the tourism industry which extolls the virtues of the wild splendour of natural habitat that Scotland boasts which include such magnificent eagles, hen harriers et al ..burnt landscapes and stink pits do not contribute to a healthy environment… tourists and visitors will be truly horrified by the recent image of an Eagle with a trap on its leg in the cairngorms national park.. inevitably to perish! other accounts have revealed trap being laid in nests! these are not isolated or exceptional cases they are widespread practices… Please act to outlaw these atrocities once and for all no prevaricating otherwise Scotland will be bereft of its beautiful wildlife and inevitably become sterile Scotland.

    your sincerley
    Liza Jones

  37. 54 Thierry Durand-viel
    August 14, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Je suis très inquiet pour la survie de cet aigle.
    J’espère qu’il sera capturé pour lui enlever le piège et qu’il s’en sortira.
    Les citoyens anglais doivent faire le maximum pour que des situations comme celle là ne se reproduisent pas à nouveau. Je fais confiance à leur pragmatisme.
    La detresse des animaux ne connaît pas de frontières malheureusement.
    La France n’a pas d’exemple à donner mais la lutte contre la souffrance des animaux à cause des humains est internationale, isn’t it ?

    • 55 Jonathan Wallace
      August 14, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you for your solidarity and support Thierry. As you correctly say, the struggle against cruelty to animals and against the selfish and wanton persecution of species such as the golden eagle is indeed international.

    • 56 Jonathan Wallace
      August 14, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Incidents such as this one put Scotland to shame and risk turning away the tourists (many from overseas) who make such an important contribution to the country’s economy. As a French citizen it would be helpful if you could help the Scottish government to recognise this by writing to them about your concern for this eagle and the many others that have been victims of illegal snares, shooting and poisonings. If you are prepared to do this you can send a message to scottish.ministers@gov.scot (for the attention of Fiona Hyslop, minister for culture, tourism and external affairs).

  38. 57 Gillian
    August 14, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    What is wrong with people

  39. August 14, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Sorry but get your finger out and earn your money and put an end to this crulty .

  40. 59 Lizzybusy
    August 14, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    I just sent this email off to https://www.balmoralcastle.com/contact.htm

    I was outraged to see an image of a golden eagle with an illegal trap around its leg. The photo was taken in the area of Crathie. Since it is possible that the bird was flying around the royal Balmoral Castle I would hope that a press statement will be released shortly by the Balmoral Estate condemning the actions of the person who committed this atrocious wildlife crime and calling for the public to help locate this unfortunate bird. Please can you confirm what action Balmoral Estate will be taking. Thank you.

    • August 14, 2019 at 8:01 pm

      Quote taken from Invercauld Estate website: “1900’s
      This was the great age of grouse shooting and deer stalking with record grouse bags being taken in the 1920’s. The present 16th Laird Captain Alwyne Farquharson assumed the title in 1941 when his Aunt Myrtle Farquharson was killed in a London bombing raid. A major portion of the grouse moors were let on a long term basis to HM the King, latterly the Queen and the Prince of Wales.
      2000’s
      Today the Estate is run as a modern business owned by Family Trusts under the guidance of Captain Farquharson and other members of his family. Braemar Castle is on a long lease to the Community of Braemar, a charity which keeps the castle open to the public. Salmon fishing, grouse shooting, deer stalking, as well as skiing, forestry and tourism all form parts of the diverse management of Invercauld Estate. “

    • 61 Reece Fowler
      August 14, 2019 at 8:21 pm

      To be fair it might not have been anything to do with Balmoral (though they might be in a position to speak out anyway). Any other estate in that area of the Cairngorms could have been responsible, and some of them do have a previous record of raptor persecution incidents.

  41. 64 Wild Detection
    August 14, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    If there is ever a symbol that wildlife crime is out of control in Scotland then that photo is it. That bird is a flying advert to all that sees it, that all is far from well in our Scottish countryside.

  42. 65 Jane Bourdillon
    August 14, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Please stop these atrocities caused to eagles by traps getting attached to them please stop this happening

  43. 66 Jonathan Wallace
    August 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    The litany of incidents goes on and on and yet the apologists for grouse shooting have the audacity to claim that persecution is declining and pretend that it is no longer an issue. As the petition states ‘wilful blindness is no longer an option’.

  44. August 14, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Utterly disgusted at the latest string of crimes against raptors and this one is so incredibly heartbreaking. I have signed and shared the petition and just sent a letter to Nicola Sturgeon. Thank you for the excellent work you are doing, it must feel like bashing your head against a brick wall some days but please keep going. With much admiration, Jo.

  45. 68 TOBornotTOB?
    August 14, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    The people who trap, poison and shoot our wildlife are emotionally desensitised.

    I have sent an e-mail to the First Minister, for the third time.

    I have signed the new petition. Hopefully, when it is debated in Parliament next time, more politicians who support a ban will turn up to confront those who oppose it. We don’t want the debacle that happened on 31 October 2016 to be repeated, so I hope that right minded MPs will start thinking about this now and get their act together! Mmmm, I am feeling the need to write to a lot of MPs!

    • 69 Iain Gibson
      August 15, 2019 at 6:34 pm

      When will the RSPB WAKE UP TO THE REALITY OF WIDESPREAD CRUELTY to birds and other wildlife, and take a more positive approach to end this unfortunate trend? Last night on the BBC’s Reporting Scotland an RSPB spokesman began his statement by saying “We [RSPB] don’t want to ban grouse shooting, but…”. WHY NOT? Are they so naive that they think the shooting community will respect their wishes and stop killing raptors and other predatory species? Time to wake up and smell the coffee! Only being provided with full statutory protection for red grouse will end the widespread slaughter of hen harriers. Forget the red herrings put out as propaganda by bodies such as BASC and GWCT.

  46. 70 Daniel Ratner
    August 14, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    The shooting industry attempts to cover itself with a gown of conservation, sustainability, caring about the land and the most sickening of deceipts; it’s love of Birds and other wildlife.
    In reality it’s a grubby, destructive collection of duplicitous but powerful animal abusers who are selfishly destroying everything of value, including the very soil itself in our upland environments.

  47. 72 Colin S
    August 14, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Mention on the 1pm BBC national news during Jeremy Vine show today. Nothing on any of the TV channels so far. Said police are asking for information from public on the 101 number.

  48. 73 Colin S
    August 14, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Mention on the 1pm BBC national news during Jeremy Vine show today. Nothing on any of the TV channels so far. Said police are asking for information from public on the 101 number.

  49. 74 Ali P
    August 14, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    I concur with all the anger, dismay, frustration, and heartbreak written above. I have just recently moved to Scotland one year ago from the south of England, after a long time in the planning and waiting. My pull was the beautiful landscape and in particular the wildlife. For me, my personal love is the Mountain Hare. I must have been naive as a ‘tourist’ to think that Scotland was not the guardian of it’s beautiful wildlife – maybe I sat in a bubble in England, because what goes on in connection with ‘grouse industry’ had clearly not hit my radar. In addition to the threat facing our beautiful raptors, during August-February the iconic Mountain Hare is killed as part of large-scale culls to manage land for red grouse shooting and can also be shot freely for sport. I have seen much graphic footage of these horrendous culls, images that will haunt me and that have changed my life forever. The Government sit in their ivory towers and criticise other countries for persecuting animals that are poached for ivory, trophy hunting etc, and yet they sit and allow acts of cruelty and barbarism to continue on their own doorstep and under their own noses. I have written on many occasions to the First Minister about the atrocities of the Mountain Hare, and I shall today do the same to show my utter disgust of this barbarism to our raptors. Thank you for all that you do.

  50. 75 Dwain D
    August 14, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Is there a picture with a bit more context, like location timestamp etc. What this depicts is disgusting, however we must ensure it’s not a regurgitated photo taken ages ago. People who do this to birds of prey need prosecuting to the full extent of the law, 5 years should be a starting point. By using photo’s again and again dilutes the message and gives rise to claims it’s all made up.

  51. 77 J .Coogan
    August 14, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Have we had any statements from the shooting mob suggesting that this a set up yet ? Let me guess – photo been manipulated, after all that pesky Chris Packham is a bit handy with a camera , its a captive bird with a mock up attached, the bird picked up the trap out of curiosity. Headline in shooting times – Eagle interferes with legally set trap.
    Cant wait to hear what the pastel pulveriser (the Angus glens moorland apologist mouthpiece) has to say, I’ll wager he will state that its a transmitter that has detached and is hanging down.

  52. August 14, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    This afternoon around 4pm I heard and saw what was far too big and high for a buzzard on the Moray Firth. Lots of distress cries – too high to see any detail but we don’t get eagles here, 3 miles west of Portsoy and it’s only 40 miles from Crathes.
    Combination of behaviour and location may be of use. Reported – eventually through 101 nobody else answered the phone.

  53. 79 Falcon watcher
    August 14, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Absolutely horrific Photo I was tempted to take time off my work today and try and see if I can find the poor bird but realise it would be like finding a needle in a haystack.If you look at the eagles tail it looks like the feathers are all roughed up and broken which means the bird has been thrashing around until its broke the trap free from its anchor. Terrible

  54. 80 Aileen
    August 14, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Are these damned things legal? Prosecute people who set them and then clamp their genitals in there own traps

    • 81 Lizzybusy
      August 14, 2019 at 10:06 pm

      This is likely to be a trap that can legally be sold and used to capture certain animals under certain conditions. However, if those conditions are not followed and the animal targeted is a non-target animal, then its use will be illegal. Spring traps must be set in tunnels and precautions taken to prevent access to them by non-target animals. In no circumstances is it permitted to use these traps in the open and Golden Eagles are protected birds so the use of this trap will, in my opinion, have been illegal.

  55. 82 Lyndsay
    August 14, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Please help the eagles they are beautiful

  56. August 14, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    This is bloody outrageous killing and harming the innocent needs to end if we are going to survive we are in the 21st century. The Neanderthals need to evolve.

  57. 84 Sabrina
    August 15, 2019 at 12:19 am

    Stop killing animals!

  58. 85 Alex Paul
    August 15, 2019 at 12:27 am

    What has this horrendous situation got to do with grouse shooting? Why would a ban prevent such things happening? This is most certainly not the doing of anybody involved in grouse management or shooting.

  59. 88 Linda Lessels
    August 15, 2019 at 12:33 am

    This breaks my heart! We camped in the Cairngorms a couple of years ago. Wasn’t lucky enough to see a Golden Eagle, though it was SO beautiful there. I’m shocked and surprised that anyone would be able to set such a trap there! Do we know if this beautiful raptor was able to be rescued? So very sad!!

  60. 89 James Thomson
    August 15, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Some people are now on facebook trying to change this to a bird caring off a trap to eat contents.

    • 90 sog
      August 15, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      So the bird found a legally-set trap hidden in some sort of tunnel? Or got caught in an illegal trap in the open? Which do they suggest?

  61. 91 Wild Detection
    August 16, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    This week, after the photo of the eagle with a Fen trap caught around its leg was released, I have heard that up to fifteen game keepers have been up in the area of Craithie in search of the eagle. This should not be allowed to happen. If the bird is found and caught by a game keeper then there may be a chance that any DNA etc on the trap, which could lead us to a suspect, may be lost. It is best left to the professionals who are trained to search for raptors in a suspected crime situation and who will help to secure any evidence gathered.

  62. 92 Patricia Robertson
    August 16, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    But then who is to say who actually set the traps. Could have been keepers who risk losing their jobs and never being able to work again or could just as easily have been some of those who are against shooting and are totally capable of such things as has been shown before. Mention of the two tagged eagles is nonsense as it has been shown that they could easily have killed each other or been harmed by another eagle over territory. Just want people to look at ALL sides before going off half-cocked.

    • 93 Coop
      August 17, 2019 at 10:06 pm

      And there, boys and girls, is a perfect example of the risible dishonesty and idiocy of the self-appointed “countryside” lobby. Thanks Pat, you remind us all just what kind of people we’re up against.

    • 94 Wildelife Warrior
      August 19, 2019 at 7:40 am

      Yes good one Pat, ill crack the Jokes why are you on this page wake up and smell the coffee and get real……………….

    • 95 Iain Gibson
      August 19, 2019 at 3:50 pm

      Talk about half-cocked! Eagles setting traps for other eagles? What a warped sense of humour, just the sort we would expect from the gun lobby.

    • August 19, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      PR, you do realise that one of those 2 eagles ‘disappeared’ at the turn around of one of the moor highways.
      Coincidence again? That is three. 1. 2 eagles ‘disappearing’ in the same place; 2 at the same time; 3. just happened to be at a perfect place to shoot them.
      Now what if those co-incidences had been about a slightly different topic.
      Say 2 traps get interfered with in the same place at the same time and both within easy access.
      What would you say then? You wouldn’t be biased would you?
      What would you say to the fact that the same thing happened with Hen Harriers in Bowland, not once but twice and all 4 in the same place and all 4 within easy access from a public road. Were they too killing each other? Or was it aliens or fairies?

      They did this experiment with climate change facts a few years ago. They gave all the facts to some businessmen, risk analysts who denied climate change but didn’t tell them the parameters were to do with climate.
      There was unanimous conclusion by the analysts that when the true nature of the conclusion from the figures was revealed, that climate change was real, man made and of extremely high risk.
      Someone needs to the same experiment with gamekeepers and their overlords.

  63. 97 Have keyte
    August 17, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Disgusting High penalties need to be enforced

  64. 98 Alec Swan.
    August 19, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    I was at one time a gamekeeper and during my service, I never killed a bird of prey. Those who do so need the full force of the Law to rain down on them with attendant prison sentences.
    THAT SAID – if we are to prosecute those who break the Laws and who persecute our natural heritage, then we need to be certain of our facts.
    THIS PHOTOGRAPH IS FAKE – period, full stop, that’s it.

    • 99 Alec Swan
      August 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      …….. and as a footnote – I will supply an irrefutable and logical explanation – should anyone be suitably interested! :)


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