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STATEMENT ON RECENT BIRD OF PREY INCIDENT

11th July 2019

The Moorland Association today issued an appeal for information concerning a recent incident involving a bird of prey on the Swinton Estate in Yorkshire.

The estate was informed on April 5 of a dead Hen Harrier on the estate which was removed for a post-mortem. The bird had been dead for some time and had been located by a signal from its tag.

On the 9th July, the estate was updated by the police.  Two metallic objects were found in the bird through X-ray but the bird was too decomposed to perform a post-mortem, so the police and experts could not ascertain the cause of death.

The police informed them that they are taking the matter no further due to lack of evidence and stressed that there was no suspicion of any wrongdoing by the Swinton Estate or its staff.

The Moorland Association is to write to the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group to raise the case. The Association highlighted that the Swinton Estate is steadfast in its condemnation of wildlife crime and has fully cooperated with the police throughout the process.

Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association said: “The disappearance of a Hen Harrier called ‘River’ late last year and the discovery of a dead Hen Harrier has greatly distressed the estate’s staff and management. The estate has taken great pride in the work it has been doing to encourage and help Hen Harriers and this has resulted in successful winter roosting for several harriers and breeding success this spring.

“Our members, across all these incidents, wish to reiterate their condemnation of all forms of wildlife crime. The estate has asked us to contact the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group to ensure there is as much transparency as possible and to inform them that they are ready to help with any further inquiries that may be made around these events.”

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Did You Know?

75% of Europe’s remaining upland heather moorland is found in the UK – but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.

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