Police pesticide warning after death of red kite

Police have issued a warning about illegal pesticides
Police have issued a warning about illegal pesticides

Police have issued a warning about illegal pesticides, after a post-mortem concluded a red kite died as a result of pesticide abuse.

At the end of October 2018 a red kite was found dead in Nidderdale.

The finder in this case was the landowner, who was concerned that criminal activity may have taken place on his land.

North Yorkshire Police arranged for the bird to be x-rayed, and this showed there were two pieces of shot in the bird.



However, it was not possible to say whether these had caused fatal injuries.

Police released details of the incident, and appealed for information from the public.



Officers have now completed their enquiries. The dead bird was subjected to a post mortem, which concluded that the injury caused by one piece of shot was old and had healed.

The damage caused by the second piece was recent but was not a fatal injury.

The bird was then submitted to the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme, which is administered by Natural England.

It was subjected to toxicological tests which found several poisons in the bird.

The largest quantity of poison was a substance called bendiocarb, a pesticide which is licenced for use in the UK.

Smaller amounts of two other pesticides, isofenphos and carbofuran, which are both illegal in the UK, were also present.

The report concluded that the kite had died as a result of the abuse of several pesticides.



A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “The test results suggest that someone not only has access to two illegal poisons, but is also placing them, along with a legal pesticide, into the environment so that a wild bird has been able to consume them.

"In addition to being poisoned, the bird had also been shot at least twice during its life.”

Red kites have been successfully re-introduced to Yorkshire, having been extinct as a breeding bird in England, and they are now a familiar sight to people in Nidderdale.

All birds are protected by law and it is a crime to intentionally kill, injure, or take any wild bird.