23rd Sep, 2019

Peregrine Falcon put down after being shot in Meriden

Felix Nobes 21st May, 2019

A PEREGRINE Falcon has been put down after being shot in Meriden – despite recent public warnings over persecution of birds of prey.

West Midlands Ringing Group member and police sergeant Ben Dolan was called after reports of a Falcon with an injured wing on Friday (May 17).

The bird – which had been shot in the wing and chest – was found by workers at a Meriden quarry who alerted the ringers and animal welfare charity RSPCA.

The charity confirmed this week that because a shotgun pellet was so close to its joint the bird has been put down.

As we reported, a falcon’s nest on a mast in Shirley – which cannot legally be disturbed – triggered a signal blackout for customers, mobile phone provider EE says.

It prompted fears of ‘raptor persecution’ – the killing of birds of prey.

We heard from Solihull residents who have taken photos of the ‘beautiful’ birds in recent weeks.

Mr Dolan said on Friday (May 17): “We work closely with landowners within the area who are very pro-wildlife and originally alerted to the bird.

“If you are aware of any individuals targeting raptors (birds of prey) then please contact 101 or ring crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.”

The British Trust for Ornithology says raptor persecution is one of the UK Wildlife Crime priorities and includes poisoning, shooting, trapping, habitat destruction and nest destruction or disturbance.

Bird ringers are people who catch birds and mark them with an identifying band around the leg which enables them to be tracked and analysed.

Raptor crime can take place because birds of prey are perceived as pests by farmers or gamekeepers despite most only targeting rabbits and wood pigeons.

Those convicted of raptor crime can face an unlimited fine or up to six months in jail.

For more information go to: www.nwcu.police.uk/how-do-we-prioritise/priorities/raptor-persecution/

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