Indiscriminate poisoning

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is offering a reward for evidence leading to the conviction of the person who left out poisoned bait (your report, 22 August). It seems that despite the efforts of wildlife police officers and animal protection organisations, persecution of raptors contin- ues. Poisoning of animals not only causes immense suffering, but is also indiscriminate, so non-target species can easily fall victim to the substance.

Welcoming the siting in Scotland of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, Paddy Tomkins, the chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police, warned earlier this year that the significance of wildlife crime should not be underestimated. He said it had "a direct impact on the economic, environmental and cultural lives of communities".

However, in the most recent case of a gamekeeper being convicted for illegally possessing poison and using it to kill a protected bird, the fine was a paltry 850. It must be hoped that if the RSPB receives evidence that leads to charges, it will receive the full support of the justice system.


Director, Advocates for Animals

Queensferry Street