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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 21 February, 2020

Three protected birds of prey found poisoned

A peregrine falcon and two buzzards were found dead in recent weeks.

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland are appealing for information after three protected birds of prey were poisoned.

A peregrine falcon and two buzzards have been found dead in County Antrim over the last few weeks, with test results revealing they were poisoned, the PSNI said in a statement today.

The falcon was found dead at a quarry in Ballymena on 11 April, in the same area where another Peregrine Falcon was shot dead in 2012.

Two buzzards were reported dead in the Glenarm area on 15 March and 29 March. They were also poisoned.

Bird2 One of the birds found to have been poisoned. Source: PSNI

It comes after two peregrine falcons were shot dead in County Down last year.

Police say those responsible for poisoning the birds need to be identified before other wildlife, pets or children come to harm.

“We are disappointed that this continues to happen, especially with such a dangerous substance which could kill not only birds of prey, but also a child, family pet or any adult coming into contact with it,” Emma Meredith, PSNI Wildlife Liaison Officer said.

One of the buzzards was killed by Carbofuran, a toxic pesticide, which police say is particularly dangerous. Tests show the other two birds were exposed to Alphachloralose, a bird poison.

Police are urging members of the public who come into contact with a fallen bird of prey to leave it where it is and contact the PSNI as soon as possible.

The PSNI launched Operation Raptor in March to highlight the issue of birds of prey being killed.

In Northern Ireland, the Wildlife Order of 1985 amended under the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act 2011 makes it illegal to kill protected birds of prey such as buzzards, falcons and eagles.

Read: A white-tailed eagle has been found poisoned in its nest in Connemara

Read: Two peregrine falcons have been shot dead

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