Borders goshawks deaths

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Police Scotland’s Wildlife Crime Unit is investigating the illegal killing of two birds of prey in the Borders.

On February 14, a member of the public discovered a dead goshawk on land near Abbey St Bathens, and forensic analysis established that it had been shot.

Police were also contacted about the shooting of another goshawk in the Peebles area in March. Inquiries into both shootings are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to come forward.

Constable Steven Irvine, said: “These birds are a protected species and unlawfully killing them is a very serious offence. Anyone who can assist with these investigations should contact police immediately.”

Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland’s head of investigations said: “Goshawks are one of Scotland’s rarest breeding raptors, with only about 150 breeding pairs. Despite the fact that most of their diet consists of crows, wood pigeons and rabbits, species that are perceived as pests by some farmers and gamekeepers, cases of illegal persecution against this species are not uncommon, depriving people of the opportunity to see this charismatic and spectacular bird of prey.

“We join with the police in asking that if anyone has information about this crime, or other raptor persecution incidents, they contact Police Scotland.”