Man charged over Scottish bird poisonings


A man has been charged in connection with a number of wildlife crimes that involved the poisoning of birds in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland.

The offences resulted in the deaths of more than 20 birds of prey and other wild birds in the Springholm area, near Castle Douglas, between 2018 and 2020. A multi-agency investigation established the birds had been poisoned using banned pesticides. On Thursday 9 April, Police Scotland confirmed a 64-year-old man had been charged over the bird deaths.

Several birds of prey, including Common Buzzards, were among the poisoned birds (Martin Webb).

Wildlife Crime Officer, constable John Cowan, said: "Residents in Springholm and the surrounding area as well as wildlife enthusiasts further afield will be only too well aware of a worrying rise in poisonings in and around the area over the last few years following on from previous appeals for information."

The force worked alongside the RSPB, the Scottish SPCA, Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, Scottish Agricultural College, Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division, Scottish National Heritage and Scottish Land and Estates.

Cowan added: "I would like to thank members of the public for the information they have provided throughout the investigation.

"This sends out a strong message that Police Scotland and partners treat wildlife crime very seriously and should act as a strong deterrent to anyone engaging in such activities, irrespective of the underhand tactics that may be used."