The Scottish Executive is appealing for any outdoors users who find poisoned wildlife to let them know.

A freephone number has been provided to report any incidents. This follows the distressing death earlier this year of two golden eagles in Scotland.

The first was found (see grough story) between Banchory and Braemar in Deeside and the second was discovered by walkers on the Glenfeshie estate. Both had died due to poisoning by the illegal carbofuran. Police failed to arrest anyone for either murder.

The Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association has condemned the poisonings.

The number to ring to report suspect crime against wildlife or anything similar arousing suspicions is 0800 321 600.

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The RSPB is offering a £2,000 reward to anyone who supplies information leading to the conviction of the perpetrators of the eagle deaths.

It’s the first time in the organisation’s history it has put up rewards for such information.

Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland said, “Golden eagles are magnificent icons of the Scottish uplands and we should be proud that Scotland supports some 442 pairs of these awe-inspiring birds that attract tourists from all over the world.

“Yet some in our country selfishly persecute these birds, through the use of poisoned baits or other means.

“In space of just three months, two dead eagles have been found – killed illegally.

“Through the police we are now appealing for information to help bring the perpetrators to justice. For each case, we are offering a £1,000 reward for information that leads to a successful prosecution. We appeal to anyone who has information to contact the police so we can put a stop to these dreadful crimes.”

PC John Bryden, wildlife crime co-ordinator at Northern Constabulary said: “The force takes any type of crime against wildlife very seriously and we are continuing our inquiries into this incident.

“Obviously we are delighted that the RSPB Scotland has opted to put up a reward in relation to this crime and we hope that someone with information will come forward.”

Grampian Police’s full-time wildlife officer PC Dave McKinnon is also appealing for information in relation to the poisoning of a golden eagle on the Dinnet and Kinnord Estate near Ballater.
He said: “We look forward to developing our partnership with the RSPB Scotland in relation to what is a very serious offence.

“Hopefully the reward will stimulate the public to come forward with information and we can trace those responsible.”

Police are encouraging members of the public who find a dead bird or a carcass, which they suspect may have been left there for bait, not to touch anything and report their finding to police.

Officers say walkers should avoid touching the area as potential evidence may be destroyed.

PC Bryden said: “Poison such as carbofuran is extremely dangerous to humans and pets and we would urge people who find carcasses not to touch them and contact the police immediately.

“Baits can include such things as animal carcasses – rabbits, sheep, pigeons or even chickens from a supermarket – which have been cut open and had poison administered.”

Northern Constabulary can be contacted on 01463 715555; Grampian Police on 0845 600 5700. Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or The Campaign Against Illegal Poisoning number mentioned earlier in the story – 0800 321 600.