Scottish SPCA appeal after peregrine falcon shot in Fife

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after a peregrine falcon was shot in Fife.

The peregrine falcon was shot over farmland in Fife.
The peregrine falcon was shot over farmland in Fife.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was alerted to the incident after the female bird was discovered by a farm worker on farmland at Grange Farm, near Kirkcaldy, on July 25.

The falcon was unable to fly and was transferred to the Society’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross where x-rays revealed a couple of fractures, with one of those indicating she had been shot.

It is thought that a shotgun was used in an attempt to kill the bird of prey.

An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector said: “We were shocked to hear that the peregrine falcon had been shot.

“This poor bird was extremely lucky to be spotted by the farm worker, who took immediate steps to ensure the falcon’s welfare and survival.

“The shot would have knocked the bird out of the sky almost instantaneously so the incident will have happened close to the farmland the bird was found on.

“Thankfully, due to the expert avian vets we have at our national wildlife hospital, the falcon has a good chance at recovery and release back into the wild.

“Peregrine falcons are a Schedule One listed species of The Wildlife and Countryside Act and it is illegal to intentionally harm or kill one of these birds.

“We are working closely with Police Scotland to establish the circumstances around the bird’s injuries due to the use of a firearm in the incident.

“We would like to find out what happened to this falcon. If anyone witnessed anything on July 25 or has any information they feel may be relevant they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999 or Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 1390 of 28 July 2021.”

Wildlife crime liaison officer, detective constable Ben Pacholek, said: “The fact that a shotgun has apparently been used in an attempt to kill a bird of prey is of serious concern. This incident is sadly another example of the unacceptable persecution of raptors in Scotland.

“I strongly urge anyone within the local and wider community to come forward with details or any information about this incident which can help the ongoing investigation.”

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