RSPB NI calls for tighter laws on banned pesticides


RSPB NI is calling for tighter laws around banned pesticides.

The plea comes after the recent RSPB Birdcrime report revealed that four Peregrine Falcons and a Red Kite were poisoned in Northern Ireland in 2022. This was followed by two White-tailed Eagles being found dead in Co Antrim this year having been poisoned.

The two young White-tailed Eagles found dead in Co Antrim earlier this year (Police Service of Northern Ireland).

RSPB NI has concern that the poisonings could have an impact on the country’s raptor population recovering to a sustainable level. As a result, the RSPB's director of operations in Northern Ireland, Gregory Woulahan, has called on the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to introduce a poisons amnesty for people to anonymously surrender any stockpile of illegal-to-use or out-of-date pesticides.

"The continued use of banned pesticides in Northern Ireland's countryside is not only a criminal act but it is also dangerous," he said.

"The appalling incident at Glenwherry in the Antrim Hills, where two White-tailed Eagles were killed after consuming poisoned bait, brought into focus the impact these chemicals can have, not only on birds, but potentially pets, livestock or even people who inadvertently come into contact with them."

The charity is supporting another campaign group, the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group, which it says has gathered more than 40,000 signatures in a petition calling for possession of pesticides containing certain ingredients to be made an offence.