Estates appeal for information on hen harrier

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Press Release

Scottish Land & Estates today issued an appeal on behalf of two sporting estates for information about the fate of a hen harrier which died after being caught in a trap.

The appeal was issued after the harrier was discovered near the boundary between two estates in Perthshire in mid June.

We understand staff from both estates have helped Police Scotland with their enquiries and are not being treated as suspects.

Sarah Jane Laing, executive director of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Scottish Land & Estates - and the estates located close to where this bird was found - completely condemn illegal activity. Together, we would appeal for anyone with information on this incident to make it available to Police Scotland as soon as possible.  

“We believe this incident has occurred close to the boundary between two estates. The estates take their animal welfare obligations very seriously and have conducted their own investigations.  Staff have been adamant they were not involved. Both estates use legal traps in vermin control and there are very well-established procedures on how traps are set and staff are fully trained.  The Hen Harrier was found close to a well used road and the estates are very concerned about the possibility of outside interference and have been aware of people filming around the estate without permission or engaging with them.

“In order to increase the likelihood of finding out what has happened, and support transparency on this incident, we would like to see the satellite tag data and post mortem report released in full. We believe this would aid the current investigation, and it is crucial that everyone provides their full cooperation to police in their work.”