Kestrel shot in Gloucestershire

Just three days ago we blogged about a kestrel that had been found shot in Huddersfield (see here), one of several shot kestrels in the UK in recent years (e.g. see herehereherehere and here).

Here’s another one.

This time the kestrel has had to be euthanised in Gloucestershire after suffering devastating injuries.

He was seen falling to the ground by two members of the public immediately after they heard the shot. The kestrel was taken to Vale Wildlife Hospital but his injuries were catastrophic.

[Photos from Vale Wildlife Hospital]

This incident happened at around 4pm on January 12 on Strawberry Hill on Tewkesbury Hill and Ford House Lane just outside Newent in the Forest of Dean.

Rural and Wildlife Crime Officer PC Cath McDay said: “Someone has broken the law in shooting this protected bird of prey, which sadly could not be saved. This is unacceptable behaviour and I’m asking for anyone with information to contact police.”

Contact the police on tel 101 and quote reference #196 (13 Jan) or contact the RSPB on 01767 680551 or fill in their  crime form anonymously.

16 Responses to “Kestrel shot in Gloucestershire”

  1. 1 WTF
    January 24, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    What absolute utter bastards these people are! Confirmed shotgun as the weapon. Wonder who might have been on that ground legitimately. Hope it’s being followed up.

  2. 2 Iain Gibson
    January 24, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    I’ve thought for some time now that Kestrels have become easy targets for the hooligan element (including some rogue gamekeepers). Over the last decade or two Kestrels seem to have become more confiding in the company of humans, as if they had little fear due to reduced persecution. I hate to think a new era is happening, with Kestrel becoming a popular target again. There are far too many guns held in society these days, I’d think perhaps with unlicensed weapons dominating, judging by the number of ‘cowboys’ we see in the countryside in recent years. I can speak only of my own (Clyde) Area of course, not the UK in general.

    • 3 Dougie
      January 25, 2020 at 10:29 am

      “There are far too many guns held in society these days”
      That is undoubtedly true. There are far too many guns and too many people who get an unbalanced excitement from being around / owning / handling / firing guns etc.

  3. 4 Paul
    January 24, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    I’m sick to the back teeth of this. A kestrel as well – absolutely no impact on the vested interest of these utter scumbags.

    • 5 Iain Gibson
      January 24, 2020 at 11:17 pm

      Paul, I’d suggest that neds with shotguns or air rifles are more likely suspects for this crime, although you’re right to criticise those with vested interest.

  4. 6 Raptor Rights
    January 25, 2020 at 12:55 am

    If this was a shotgun it begs the question who would the gun belong to as there can’t be many illegally held shotguns circulating and if it was illegal they surely wouldn’t risk taking it out to shoot wildlife. As previously stated the kestrel is obviously no threat to any game interests.

  5. 7 Greyandblue
    January 25, 2020 at 4:20 am

    I fail to understand why so many people are legally allowed to possess guns with the possible exception of gamekeepers I suppose, though reluctantly !. Much more of this and surely there ought to be a review to drastically reducing the numbers of licences allowed. Then obviously enforcement is key……

  6. 10 workshy333
    January 26, 2020 at 9:52 am

    I’d be surprised if those at the ICBP havent heard, come across, been warned about or had dealing with any locals brandishing shotguns, and perhaps killing raptors in the area, if indeed this was a local. If this individual has done this once, chances are he/she has done so before.

    • 11 Dougie
      January 26, 2020 at 11:17 am

      If the perpetrator is a lowlife ned the chances are that killing whatever happens to be there is regular behaviour.
      When the issue of a shotgun certificate/firearms licence is being considered I understand that the applicant must have a valid reason to own a gun and has to state where he/she has permission to shoot. (I don’t know how much crosschecking with landowners takes place).
      Granting permission to possess guns is, for obvious reasons, a very serious step to take. I am inclined to the view that some follow up checks (other than when certificates are due for renewal) are appropriate in order to establish whether gun owners actually have a valid reason for needing their weapons.
      If anyone cannot account for where and when they shoot or say that it has been a long time since they did shoot (I would expect many neds to trot out that answer) then they must be classed as not having a valid reason to possess a weapon and their guns should be removed immediately.

    • 12 Iain Gibson
      January 26, 2020 at 4:29 pm

      Unfortunately any farmer can obtain a shotgun licence if he claims its purpose is “control of vermin” (usually foxes and crows, not forgetting badgers). Some local person, working for a farmer and carrying out “pest control” can also obtain a licence easily. So it can be assumed that the police’s first port of call was the farmhouse. A little local gossip could also help to track down any local suspects. However the culprit might not be a local. The range of possibilities could make an investigation more difficult.

  7. 13 Daniel
    January 26, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    It cannot be very difficult to find out who shot the kestrel. Who owns the land? Who has permission to shoot on the land? How many people in the area own shotguns? What were your whereabouts at the given time?
    Simple, old fashioned police work.
    Sure, you may never be able to prove beyond doubt who pulled the trigger but any copper with half a brain is going to have a good idea who did with some simple enquiries.
    Once you have your culprit you mark his card. You make sure he understands that he is being watched!
    And when you have a similar incidence you know where to start your enquiries.

    • 14 Jimmy
      January 26, 2020 at 7:57 pm

      Thats making the rather large assumption that the law takes such crimes anyway seriously!!

    • 15 Dougie
      January 26, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      There are probably lots of crimes where the culprit could be nailed by good old fashioned police work. Unfortunately we seem to have got ourselves into a bit of a mess. Just one example -, burglaries – 97% do not result in prosecution. That is one hell of a statistic. How did we get into such a pickle and, more importantly, how do we get out.
      The big picture makes painful viewing for law abiding people.

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