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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 26 January 2022

This protected falcon had to be euthanised after being shot in Wexford

The National Parks and Wildlife Service said the deliberate killing of birds of prey seems to be on the rise.

Source: Peter Murphy

THE NATIONAL PARKS and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is seeking help from the public after this Peregrine Falcon was found shot at Ballynastraw near Enniscorthy in Wexford.

The bird’s injuries were so severe it had to be euthanised.

Peregrine Falcons, native birds of prey, receive the highest possible legal protection under Irish and European law. A deliberate killing of one of these birds is a criminal offence.

The NPWS said an x-ray confirmed the bird was shot with shotgun pellets in its wing and leg.

Source: Peter Murphy

An identification ring, which had been placed on the bird’s leg in June of this year, showed that it was a young bird on one of its first flights.

Veterinary advice was that the injuries were so bad that rehabilitation was not likely to succeed and so the falcon was euthanised.

Dominic Berridge of the NPWS said today that “there seems to be an increase in deliberate killings of peregrines in recent years with several unexplained nest failures in the south-east”.

The finding of this bird is not an isolated incident. There have been attempts to poison and shoot birds at a number of nests and if people see anything suspicious like a tethered pigeons or a trap, NPWS staff should be called.

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, also commented that it is “intolerable for birds of prey to be persecuted, poisoned or shot”.

“Not only is this activity illegal and barbaric, it also harms our reputation as a country that values its wildlife,” she said.

The National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) was also critical of the incident, saying the illegal killing of protected species is “damaging to the interests of all responsible law-abiding firearms owners in Ireland”.

“Whatever the intent was to commit such a serious offence, any right-minded firearms owner will find this illegal act completely irresponsible and blatantly unacceptable,” commented Director of NARGC, Des Crofton.

Anyone with information about this incident can contact the NPWS on 076 100 2660.

Read: Ireland’s most common birds of prey are in decline>

Read: Appeal for information after protected bird found hanging from gatepost>

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