10/04/2014
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Donations flood in from public sickened by raptor poisonings

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The Red Kite reintroduction has proved massively popular with the public, and they are willing to fund its protection from their own pockets, too, it seems. Photo: Tony Hisgett (commons.wikimedia.org).
The Red Kite reintroduction has proved massively popular with the public, and they are willing to fund its protection from their own pockets, too, it seems. Photo: Tony Hisgett (commons.wikimedia.org).
An RSPB reward has topped £26,000 after the public, including landowners and farmers, were angered by the intentional killing of Red Kites and Common Buzzards in Scotland.

Outraged nature-lovers donated more than £4,000 towards a reward for information about the deaths of 17 birds of prey in Ross-shire. More than 160 people have contributed to RSPB Scotland’s Justgiving site since it was set up last Friday. The generosity from members of the public reflects rising levels of anger and frustration as the confirmed death toll in the area rose to 13 Red Kites and four Common Buzzards.

RSPB Scotland has also welcomed a pledge of £12,000 made yesterday by a group of farmers and landowners from the Moray Firth area. The total reward on offer for information leading to a successful conviction is now more than £26,000.

Duncan Orr-Ewing, Head of Species and Land Management for RSPB Scotland, said: “We welcome the pledge made today by local farmers and landowners. The illegal killing of these birds has disgusted many in the local community and beyond, and we hope that by working together we can identify those responsible and help to eliminate wildlife crime.  

“We would also like to thank everyone who has given so generously on our Justgiving site in an effort to help bring those responsible to justice. The public outrage over the deaths of these birds is clearly reflected in the comments posted by those donating. Many more will share their anger and frustration and back the repeated calls for tough penalties against the perpetrators. We again urge anyone who has any information to contact Police Scotland as soon as possible.”

Below are some of the comments left by members of the public who have donated to the Justgiving webpage http://www.justgiving.com/wildlifecrimescotland.

Tim Rouse said: “Let this be a watershed moment, when wildlife crime starts getting tackled in earnest. You never know what you've got, until it's gone. Don't let the Highlands become another wildlife desert.”

Greer Hart wrote: “Time to make the politicians and judiciary act more on behalf of the humane majority, in wishing to have wildlife criminals sought out and punished by imprisonment. Inertia seems to have ruled.”
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