British bird charity the RSPB is to back off from wildlife crime cases after the police told RSPB that its actions could jeopardise prosecutions. Newly-released documents seen by The Times newspaper reveal the  Police predict the RSPB would “kick and scream” if excluded from investigations into crimes such as the suspected poisoning, trapping and shooting of birds of prey such as golden eagles.

The credibility of the RSPB and bird rights campaigners such as BBC TV presenter Chris Packham suffered a blow after an eagle it claimed had been killed and dumped in the sea by gamekeepers turned out to have drowned naturally, after being blown out to sea while carrying a transmitter.

The Times obtained restricted documents  under the Freedom of Information Act from the National Police Chiefs Council. These reveal that the charity is accused of failing to disclose a dead  marsh harrier it found in England for six months before announcing it to the media that it had been poisoned rather than calling in the police.

Marsh harrier

 

Police tell RSPB to back off