Police charge man with serial poisoning of birds of prey

Police in Dumfries and Galloway say a 64-year-old man has been charged with “a number of wildlife crime offences”. He is believed to be involved in agriculture and not gamekeeping.

A post on the constabulary’s Facebook page says the suspect may have killed more than 20 birds of prey and other wild birds in the Springholm area near Castle Douglas between 2018 and 2020.

The charges come after “extensive investigations” into the bird deaths, which appear to be the result of poisoning by banned pesticides.

The social media post quoted Wildlife Crime Officer Constable John Cowan locals were concerned about “a worrying rise in poisonings in and around the Springholm area”.

Cowan said police were working with a number of wildlife groups, including the RSPB and Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to investigate the incidents.

He also thanked “members of the public for the information they have provided throughout the investigation”, adding that the case “sends out a strong message that Police Scotland and partners treat wildlife crime very seriously” and was “a strong deterrent to anyone engaging in such activities, irrespective of the underhand tactics that may be used”.