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Red Kite Found Poisoned in Dumfries and Galloway

01/04/2008 16:57:19
January 2008. RSPB Scotland has expressed its sadness and disgust after it was confirmed that a red kite found dead in Dumfries and Galloway had been poisoned.

The news was particularly shocking as there have been no confirmed reports of illegal poisoning in Dumfries and Galloway for almost four years, and it comes only a few weeks after the RSPB reported that 2007 was the worst for red kite poisoning in Scotland since 2001.
Bellymack Hill Farm Kite Feeding Station. © Ian Saunders
The dead bird was recovered by the RSPB Kite Officer and local police in December after it was radio tracked to an area near Laurieston a few miles north of Castle Douglas, and right in the heart of the popular Galloway Kite Trail.

Carbuforan – Illegal Pesticide
Tests carried out by the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency in Edinburgh, confirmed that it had died from ingesting the illegal and lethal pesticide, carbofuran.

Chris Rollie, RSPB area manager said: ‘It is sickening and very sad to find that someone in the heart of the Galloway Kite Trail has been illegally using this lethal chemical in this way. It undermines the efforts of responsible landowners and gamekeepers in the area, many of whom are very helpful to and supportive of the kites.

‘It is almost certain that kites were not the intended victims of this crime, as they are no threat to game, farming or any other interests. This selfish and indiscriminate act is a threat to anything that might eat a poisoned bait, including other birds of prey and wildlife, as well as domestic pets such as dogs and cats.’
£800,000 Tourism revenue
The poisoning comes as a huge blow to the Galloway Kite Trail, whose 6,500 visitors were last year thought to have generated £800,000 for the local economy. Of this figure, over a quarter of a million pounds was `new’ money, being spent by people who visited the area solely to see the kites.

The Galloway Kite Trail is supported by local businesses, communities and schools and last year won a prestigious first place in the Dumfries and Galloway Leader+ Rural Awards 2005-2008.

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