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Buzzard Chicks Poisoned Near Roscrea

Sinister element of Irish rural culture revealed.

The illegal poisoning of wildlife is still a very sinister element of our rural culture, which I regret, shows no sign of disappearing in this country.

My remark is borne out by the deliberate killing of two Buzzard chicks discovered by BirdWatch Ireland volunteers, near Roscrea in Co. Tipperary earlier this month. The bodies of the birds were found close to three poisoned, hand reared and tethered pigeons, used as bait to attract the birds to their untimely death.

BirdWatch Ireland state that this incident was particularly abhorrent, particularly since Buzzards are a farmers friend, only eating rabbits, crows, magpies, fresh road kill, rats and mice and are no threat to farm animals. Buzzards will however, like other meat eating creatures, feast on a larger animal carcase, which it finds already dead.

The Buzzards’ nest near Roscrea was being monitored by two volunteers from BirdWatch Ireland’s Raptor Conservation Project since early spring and the live pigeon bait was found tethered to the ground heavily coated with the banned poisonous insecticide Black Carbofuran. The pigeons had their wings clipped to prevent any chance of escape. A day after the dead buzzards were found another live, poison coated pigeon was discovered tethered close the same area.

The Buzzard species is protected by law and is indigenous to Ireland.  The species were absent in Ireland from the late 19th century until 1933, when a pair of birds bred in Co Antrim. The species has spread slowly down from the north and are now established in almost every county in Ireland.
An investigation has now been launched and anyone with information is asked to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Tel: 057 91 37811 or Birr Garda station Tel: 057 91 69710.

Note: This crime is especially irresponsible, as had a local child discovered these stricken pigeons and tried to help them, they could very easily have suffered a similar fate to the unfortunate Buzzards.

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