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RSPCA and police launch appeal for information after suspected falcon shooting

13 Apr 2021 3 minutes Read
Peregrine Falcon © Nick Chill via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The RSPCA and the police have launched an appeal for information after the suspected shooting of a peregrine falcon.

RSPCA inspector Mike Pugh has described the incident as “shocking”, while North Wales Police Rural Crime Team Manager, Rob Taylor, has said it’s an “appalling offence”.

They urged people in the Gwynedd area to report potentially suspicious activity against birds after it was found with puncture wounds consistent with being shot.

Rescuers from the animal welfare charity were alerted after a member of the public spotted the bird of prey struggling on a road in Penrhyndeudraeth on April 6

They collected the badly injured animal, and rushed him to the specialist Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich for urgent treatment.

Two puncture wounds were found on the bird’s body, including to the chest, which suggests a pellet had gone right through the falcon.

They say that the extent of the injuries meant there was no choice but to put him to sleep to prevent further suffering.

The charity has teamed up with North Wales Police’s Rural Crime Team investigate the incident.

In Wales, it is an offence to kill, injure or take a peregrine falcon – except under licence.

‘Shocking’ 

RSPCA inspector Mike Pugh said: “This is such a sad and shocking way for such a fantastic bird of prey to die.

“The poor bird was found struggling on the road in Penrhyndeudraeth – and an examination by the RSPCA revealed puncture wounds and, sadly, injuries so serious that the poor animal had to be put to sleep.

“It is an offence to shoot or kill wild birds like this peregrine falcon – except under licence. Harming birds of prey is a serious wildlife crime, and those found guilty face a maximum of six months in prison and an unlimited fine.

“While we cannot know for sure if this was done under licence, we are very concerned and hope someone in the local community can come forward with more information.

“We are working with North Wales Police on this investigation – and anyone with information can contact our appeal line on 0300 123 8018, or the Police via 101.”

Rob Taylor, North Wales Police Rural Crime Team Manager, added: “It’s shocking to see such an appalling offence against an iconic species.

“Bird of prey persecution is a UK wildlife priority in the UK and our dedicated team are currently investigating this offence and if caught the offender will be brought to justice.

“We appeal that if anyone has information that may assist us then please call us on 101 or via the North Wales Police online reporting form.”

Anyone with information about the incident can contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018, or report to Police via 101.

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