Red kites are protected by law. Photo: Brian Scott CC-BY-2.0

Red kites are protected by law. Photo: Brian Scott [CC-2.0]

A £4,000 reward is on offer for information about the killing of a bird of prey in North Yorkshire.

The body of a red kite was found near Greenhow in Nidderdale on Saturday 11 March.

Subsequent tests revealed what police believe to be lead shot in the bird’s body.

Local people, businesses and organisations including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, have put up a total of £3,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest and charging of those responsible for the bird’s death. Crimestoppers has added £1,000 to the amount.

The county is a blackspot for raptor persecution. In February the body of a buzzard that had been shot was found in the Nidderdale area of outstanding natural beauty.

A tagged hen harrier went missing in upper Swaledale in December and a shot peregrine falcon was found near Grassington in October last year. Both incidents happened in the Yorkshire Dales national park.

In June 2016, a shot red kite was found in Nidderdale at Timble Ings near Fewston Reservoir, not far from a similar discovery the previous month.

In July, North Yorkshire Police admitted it had been wrong not to pursue a prosecution through the courts of a junior gamekeeper who admitted setting illegal cruel traps on the Mossdale Estate near Hawes. He was given a police caution for the offence.

Police said the investigation into the latest killing in Nidderdale is continuing, and anyone with information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for PC1452 David Mackay, or email PC Mackay.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Anyone contacting the police is asked to quote reference number 12170047155 when passing information.

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