Police appeal launched after a bird of prey was shot dead in 'cruel and callous act' near Inverness

Police officers are appealing for information after a bird of prey was found dead in the Loch Farr area of Inverness-shire in what has been described as a “cruel and callous act which won’t be tolerated.”

A female goshawk was spotted dead in a tree on Saturday, July 10, by a passerby in Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) woodland.

The person reported it to the police and a post mortem later discovered that the bird had died after being shot.

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After receiving the report, the FLS and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) recovered the animal from the tree.

Wildlife Crime officer Constable Daniel Sutherland said: "This was a cruel and callous act against a protected bird of prey which will simply not be tolerated.

"I am grateful to the member of the public who came across the bird and reported it to us.

"Wildlife crime can be challenging to investigate and we work closely with a number of partners to investigate and bring those who seek to destroy or harm wildlife to justice.”

Officers are appealing to anyone with information on the incident, or anyone who saw anything suspicious, to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 3907.

A female goshawk was found dead in a tree on Saturday, July 10, by a passerby in Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) woodland. Picture of a goshawk by Tim Melling.

If you have information on the shooting but would like to remain anonymous you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland’s Head of Investigations said: “It’s both depressing and worrying that in 21st century Scotland, rare and protected birds of prey are still being routinely killed.

"Goshawks are regularly targeted, even in publicly-owned forests, despite their role as predators of crows and pigeons, species that some people regard as pests.”

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Graeme Prest, Regional Manager, North, Forestry and Land Scotland said: “We work hard to safeguard all protected species on our land so it is extremely disappointing to find an incident such as this has taken place on land managed by FLS.

"We carry out regular monitoring of sites in this area and will continue to work with local police officers, the Highland Partnership against Wildlife Crime and RSPB to ensure that all incidents of wildlife crime are reported and investigated.”

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