04
May
21

Golden eagle found poisoned – police raid Invercauld Estate in Cairngorms National Park

Today Police Scotland raided, under warrant, the Invercauld Estate in the Cairngorms National Park following the discovery of a poisoned golden eagle in March 2021.

[Invercauld Estate boundary. Map produced from data on Andy Wightman’s Who Owns Scotland website]

There are very few verifiable details around at the moment so I’ll probably wait for the police press release before saying much more.

But rest assured, there will be an awful lot more to say about this latest wildlife crime on an estate that has been at the centre of a number of investigations over many, many years.

UPDATE 5th May 2021: Police statement on poisoned golden eagle found on Invercauld Estate, Cairngorms National Park (here)

UPDATE 6th May 2021: Poisoned golden eagle: statement from Cairngorms National Park Authority (here)

UPDATE 6th May 2021: Poisoned golden eagle: examining the statement from Invercauld Estate (here)

UPDATE 6th May 2021: Poisoned golden eagle: confirmation it was found dead on a grouse moor on Invercauld Estate (here)

UPDATE 10th May 2021: Why the Invercauld golden eagle killer will evade prosecution (here)

UPDATE 12th May 2021: Poisoned golden eagle: statement from NatureScot (here)

UPDATE 13th May 2021: Invercauld Estate leaves ‘partnership’ following discovery of deliberately poisoned golden eagle (here)

UPDATE 13th May 2021: “Another poisoned golden eagle? If the SNP are serious about protecting wildlife we need an Environment Secretary who will act” – Jim Crumley (here)

UPDATE 18th May 2021: Poisoned golden eagle: will a General Licence restriction now be imposed on Invercauld Estate? (here)

UPDATE 30th May 2021: Game-shooting industry called out on raptor persecution by one of its own (here)


36 Responses to “Golden eagle found poisoned – police raid Invercauld Estate in Cairngorms National Park”


  1. 1 Raptor Rights
    May 4, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Emm, no surprises there I’am afraid.

  2. 2 Dougie
    May 4, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    The wildlife killers have a motto “KILL EVERYTHING WITH IMPUNITY”.

    Whilst the details of this latest atrocity are awaited it would be an appropriate time to dump a poisoned eagle carcass on Sturgeon’s doorstep with a wreath commemorating the loss of another magnificent creature.

    An inscription along the lines of ‘Thank you, little lady, for all that you and your ilk have failed to do. Please, just go away.’

    • May 4, 2021 at 6:34 pm

      [Ed: comment deleted as personal abuse]

    • 4 Les Wallace
      May 4, 2021 at 6:49 pm

      I’ve sometimes wondered if the bodies of birds of prey that have definitely been killed illegally could somehow be displayed to the public. Imagine the public in Princes or Sauchiehall Street coming across an exhibition of poisoned eagles, buzzards in pole traps, shot harriers etc. A lot of technical difficulties making this possible I would imagine. If this was taken around Scotland it would hit home very, very hard.indeed.

      • 5 Adrian Johnstone
        May 4, 2021 at 7:02 pm

        You couldn’t do it legally. To use a dead bird of prey for advertising purposes you first have to apply for an article 10 certificate from DEFRA (APHA), and to get this certificate you have to prove the bird of prey didn’t die illegally. So it’s not possible.

        [Ed: And obviously there’s the small matter of it containing a banned poison that’s capable of killing a human]

        • 6 Stewart MacDonald
          May 5, 2021 at 7:18 am

          In that case, if the perpetrator is found, could he or she be made to eat said bird? (Yes I know it’s not on)

        • 7 Les Wallace
          May 5, 2021 at 2:19 pm

          Yes aware that poisoned birds are effectively toxic themselves, and therefore they’ do have to be sealed along with all the other carcasses from contact with public even if the residues can be rendered inert by treatment. There maybe clauses that would allow their display for educational/instructional purposes. If people visiting town centres in Falkirk, Stirling, Dumfries, Perth etc encountered this while out on a shopping trip it would make one hell of an impact on people who are a new audience to this. I know that seized illegal wildlife products have been exhibited in this manner.

      • 8 Paul
        May 4, 2021 at 10:15 pm

        If you visited the bird fair at Rutland a police wildlife unit has a very similar display a few years ago. Plus a good photo exhibition may well help to get a message across but would also need to show the positive that other estates are doing along with their shooting enterprises.
        Shooting can be a useful tool in conservation even if at times when the conservation groups have used it and I have felt it was wrong, Ruddy Duck came to mind.

        • 9 Les Wallace
          May 5, 2021 at 2:26 pm

          Yeah photo displays are good. A wee story about that. A couple of years ago I was at a vegan fair and was delighted to see the RSPB had a stall at it and the central feature was a selection of images re illegally killed BoPs. When I mentioned how delighted I was at this to the RSPB guy he replied that usually they wouldn’t do this as it was regarded as usually ‘too strong’ for public display, but since it was a vegan fair they felt they could get away with it. So the RSPB typically downplays what’s happening to our raptors – is there anything as pointless and disgusting as killing rare species so there can be more of other ones to be shot for fun? Well meant, but a mistake RSPB.

          • 10 Paul Fisher
            May 5, 2021 at 6:14 pm

            Les, thank you for that. Thought it was just me. A five page article in Nature’s Home would make a great impact. Just takes balls.

    • 11 Cathy
      May 5, 2021 at 10:40 am

      [Ed: comment deleted as libellous. Please note, this is an on-going police investigation and if a suspect has been identified by the police, they have yet to acknowledge it in public. We await a formal statement from the police on the status of their investigation]

  3. 12 steve macsweeney
    May 4, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    Christ, do these people have ice in their veins?
    So disappointing, no wonder you get so pissed off with these criminals Ruth.
    Custodial sentences please, when you can pin these POS down.

  4. 13 Stephen Lewis
    May 4, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    The police must have good grounds to obtain a warrant. That can only be good news, if any ‘good’ news can come out of yet another despicable crime. Let’s hope someone is brought to justice, for a change.

  5. 14 Leslie Etheridge
    May 4, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    Perhaps a talented artist could create replicas for every raptor killed in the last three years and display them on a public area.

    • 15 Dougie
      May 4, 2021 at 8:39 pm

      Yes, that is the way. Use realistic replicas with a notice to the effect that no animal or bird was harmed in making the display.
      The entire revolting killing events, on whose land the creatures were found AND, OF COURSE, the part that the Holyrood mob has played over many years in the whole shameful story.

    • 17 Paul Fisher
      May 4, 2021 at 8:50 pm

      Great idea. A exhibition of replicas touring tourist towns. The handouts would highlight the money bought into Scotland by those wishing to see the wildlife as opposed to the money bought in by those that wish to kill it. I wonder if Scotland’s tourism minister would finance it!!
      I hope that those in the tourism business reflect on that fact before Thursday.

    • 18 heclasu
      May 4, 2021 at 9:58 pm

      Or just photograph them

    • 19 Paul V Irving
      May 5, 2021 at 8:31 am

      A huge photo exhibition with some artistic replicas and the right smells, stink pit etc ( as per the Jorvik exhibition in York). With poster lists of victims and the places they were discovered. Meanwhile one hopes the police found enough evidence to proceed.

  6. May 4, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    For an offence discovered in March 2021 you would not have to be very bright, I would suggest, to think it wise to squirrel away any incriminating evidence before the rozzers come round in May 2021?

    • 21 Dougie
      May 5, 2021 at 1:52 pm

      Microtus wrote;-

      “For an offence discovered in March 2021 you would not have to be very bright, I would suggest, to think it wise to squirrel away any incriminating evidence before the rozzers come round in May 2021?”.

      I do not think it would very bright to have incriminating evidence open to discovery 5 minutes after the offence was committed. Anyone wanting to commit the type of common offence concerned and not wishing to leave any sort of evidence trail would quite possibly opt to pay an “outsider” to do the deed. That does not require very much thought. It is a common tactic throughout the criminal world.

      • 22 Secret Squirrel
        May 6, 2021 at 8:41 am

        Or hide the evidence somewhere hard to find (Buried on moorland or woods rather than in your shed.)

  7. 23 Spaghnum Morose
    May 5, 2021 at 7:20 am

    If anyone is interested in the history of upland Estate management down the years, go on YouTube search “Cutting Edge – Firing Range (1995)” for a bit of an insight into Invercauld.

  8. 24 robert roy
    May 5, 2021 at 7:46 am

    another lip service search by Police Scotland not a hope in hell of detecting who was responsible for this crime.

  9. May 5, 2021 at 8:12 am

    Maybe its part of the #RWP21 protest….”keeping our way of life”?

  10. 26 Bimbling
    May 5, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Was beginning to think licensing was a good start, but now thinking that any licence suspension might just result in the total illegal eradication of ‘protected’ species. So now thinking, 1st strike: Licence revokation, 2nd strike: any illegal killing during the period of licence suspension = land forfeiture (20% per offence). Solves the distorted land use pattern in Scotland too. If these people cannot look after our nature and landscapes, then we take the land off them, simples.

    • 27 Dougie
      May 5, 2021 at 6:47 pm

      Bimbling wrote, inter alia:-
      “If these people cannot look after our nature and landscapes, then we take the land off them, simples.”

      Perhaps not so ‘simples’.

      I think I recall a report on here about a vicarious liability action that ran aground because it was not possible to establish who owned the land due to the way some financiers had “manipulated” ownership.
      Any whiff of land grabbing and we could expect more of that sort of thing.


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