Public urged to help police after birds of prey illegally poisoned in Nidderdale

Two red kites were illegally poisoned in the area last year.
Two red kites were illegally poisoned in the area last year.

People are being warned over the dangers of illegal wildlife poisoning after two birds of prey were killed in the Harrogate district last year.

Two red kites were found poisoned in the Nidderdale area in 2016, with the first found near Pateley Bridge on March 12 and the second new Bouthwaite on May 18.

Tests have attributed the death of the first bird to a substance called alphachloralose.

Traces of aldicarb and three rodenticides (difenacoum, bromadiolone and brodifacoum) were also identified.

In the second incident, tests have shown the presence of eight different poisons in the bird's body – alphachloralose, aldicarb, bendiocarb, carbofuran and isofenphos, together with three rodenticides.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “The use of poisons in the two Nidderdale cases is particularly shocking. The practice of lacing animal carcasses with poison to kill other wildlife is cruel and illegal.

"It is also a serious risk to members of the public and their children or pets if they come into contact with them.

“If you find a mammal or bird that you believe has been poisoned, please do not touch it, as poisons can transfer through skin contact.

"Also keep youngsters and pets well away. Make a note of the location, including GPS co-ordinates if possible, and anything else that is around or near the animal, and contact the police immediately.

Officers are now appealing for information about the two incidents.

Hard-hitting posters urging people to report suspected wildlife poisoning are also being distributed across the county.

Insp Grainge said: “Anyone with information about the poisoning of the red kites found in Nidderdale should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12160043415, or email ruraltaskforce@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.”