Trap bird killers

The 20-year record high of reported bird of prey poisonings, (your report, 23 July) whilst shocking comes as no surprise as the illegal acts have continued unabated, despite various failed initiatives from land-owning interests over many years.

The latest incarnation - a letter from the SRPBA, (Scottish Rural Property and Business Association), to the minister for the environment condemning the illegal killings - lasted only eight days until one of the signatory's estates was raided and is now subject to a police investigation.

With the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill before the Scottish Government, it is time to act on the recommendations from the recent thematic review and introduce the principle of vicarious liability and the licensing of shooting estates.

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The land-owning interests have been drinking in the last-chance saloon for too long now and time is now being called.


Bridgewater Avenue, Auchterader, Perthsire

With regard to the illegal poisoning of birds of prey, I would like to add that these majestic creatures serve an important ecological role (pest control, etc) are also at risk from electricity power lines.

I witnessed the electrocution of a beautiful adult prairie hawk recently while hiking with my young son near the Pentland Hills.

It was very said and traumatising to witness this bird being destroyed by just attempting to fly from a perch it found on a pole (that was ironically posted as "danger: will cause death").

Why not also retrofit these towers (as is done elsewhere) to prevent the needless and avoidable deaths?


Stevenson Road Penicuik, Midlothian