15 shotguns and dead bird of prey seized following searches in the Ceiriog Valley
North Wales Police Rural Crime Team have said fifteen shotguns and a deceased bird of prey have been seized following searches in the Ceiriog Valley.
The operation that took place this week was carried out in partnership with the RSPB Investigations Team, the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the Welsh Government, targeting those suspected of unlawfully poisoning birds of prey.
Officers say the operations came following an investigation launched in July into the poisoning of a red kite, found dead in the Ceiriog Valley on February 27th.
Toxicology tests carried out on the bird by the Welsh Government earlier this year revealed it tested positive for Bendiocarb – a highly toxic pesticide.
Officers believe the incident was a deliberate act.
Following this week’s searches, the dead bird of prey was sent off for toxicology tests, while dangerous chemicals also discovered at one property are being dealt with.
Sergeant Dewi Evans of the Rural Crime Team said: “It’s time to stamp out persecution against our birds of prey.
“We are glad to have worked with Welsh Government, National Wildlife Crime Unit and RSPB Investigations on our operation targeting those suspected of criminally harming our wildlife.
“We look forward to working with our partners again in future.”
RSPB Investigations officer Niall Owen said: “This was a well organised multi-agency operation and a positive step in the right direction for investigating raptor persecution in Wales.
“We, as a team, are committed to working alongside the police to safeguard the future for birds of prey and uncover these barbaric crimes against our birds.
“Laying poison baits in the countryside to target birds of prey is not only illegal but represents a huge danger to any person or animal unlucky enough to come across it.
“We would like the thank North Wales Police for their commitments to follow up these incidents.”
Top image: The teams involved in the operations this week.
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