Police plea over buzzard injury

The injured buzzard found on the Sledmere Estate.
The injured buzzard found on the Sledmere Estate.

Humberside Police and the RSPB are appealing for information following the discovery of a badly-hurt buzzard that had to be put down due to the extent of its injuries.

The buzzard was found alive on 21 January 2015 on the Sledmere Estate, missing one of its feet and with broken tail feathers, immediately raising concerns of illegal trapping.

The bird was taken to a local raptor rehabilitator who had no option but to put it down to halt any more suffering. A post-mortem examination confirmed that the traumatic injuries to the bird’s leg could have been caused by a trap.

The RSPB is offering a £1000 reward to anyone who has information that could lead to a conviction relating to the incident.

Spring traps are lawful in certain circumstances; for example in tunnels to catch stoats and weasels.

However, spring traps are sometimes placed in exposed positions such as poles or stumps to target deliberately birds of prey.

This practice has been illegal since 1904 and carries a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine and or six months imprisonment.

Sergeant Dave Jenkins, Humberside Police Wildlife crime force co-ordinator added: “I am confident that the local community will engage and assist with our enquiries into this particular report and we will respond to any information received from the public as part of this appeal.”

Bob Elliot, Head of RSPB Investigations stated: “Spring traps in the open is a criminal practice, which harms birds of prey in the most horrible way. These devices are the raptor equivalent of a land mine – deadly and indiscriminate.”

l Anyone with information can contact Humberside Police on 101 and ask for Sgt Dave Jenkins or contact the RSPB confidentially on 0845 466 3636