Scottish Land & Estates has issued the following statement in order to clarify media comment following the death of a Red Kite near Tomatin at the end of August. Unsubstantiated speculation was made in the press and on social media that the death was connected with grouse moor management, however such speculation appears to have been based on minimal information about what had actually happened.
A spokesman for Scottish Land & Estates said: “The Red Kite was found injured at the side of a road by a member of the public on 30th August. A gamekeeper on a neighbouring estate was then notified who immediately reported the incident to Police Scotland. Following appropriate authorisation by Police Scotland his colleague then took the injured bird to the local vet in an attempt to save the bird's life. Subsequently the injured bird was transferred to the SSPCA, but unfortunately it did not survive. The estate and its gamekeepers worked closely with Police Scotland over the following days to assist Police Scotland in their attempts to find out how the bird had been injured.
“This is a good example of partnership working between estates, Police Scotland and the SSPCA to try, first and foremost, to save the life of a bird, and secondly to find out how the injury had been caused. The Partnership for Against Wildlife Crime Scotland was set up to drive forward just this sort of cooperation and effective partnership working to eradicate wildlife crime. We believe that sensationalist comment based on inaccurate information and speculation do nothing to help this process, indeed they hinder it. However continued building of trust and good dialogue between PAWS members on the ground will ultimately be the successful way forward to achieve our shared PAWS objectives and we are committed to that and supporting the Minister in her role chairing PAWS.”
Police Scotland say any suspicious activity should be reported as soon as possible to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 and ask to speak to a Wildlife Crime Officer if one is available. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity by calling 0800 555 111 or on-line at https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online/.