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Dorset Police decision to close case into poisoned white-tailed eagle 'baffles' RSPB

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THE RSPB has said it is "baffled" at Dorset Police's decision to close the case of a poisoned white-tailed eagle, which regularly flew across the New Forest.

Six white-tailed eagles were reintroduced to the Isle of Wight in 2019 and have been frequent visitors to the area.

After an investigation, Dorset’s deputy chief constable Sarah De Reya said the eagle, discovered dead in the county in January, contained high levels of brodifacoum, a rodent poison.

But she said: "It has not been possible to establish whether this was as a result of a deliberate act or due to secondary rodenticide poisoning."

GPS data showed the bird had spent time "at a multitude of locations in the north Dorset area" in the 11 days before its death.

The white-tailed eagle was a frequent visitor to the New Forest (picture: Neil Aldridge/HIWWT)
The white-tailed eagle was a frequent visitor to the New Forest (picture: Neil Aldridge/HIWWT)

Sge added: "We want to make it clear that we take any and all potential wildlife offences seriously and will act to prevent and detect offences wherever possible."

But the RSPB said the end of the investigation was "premature" and it was "completely baffled" at the decision.

A spokesperson said: "It is clear that it was being used either incompetently or with intent to kill raptors. Either way, this is an illegal act."

They also claimed a land search had been called off and said the Health and Safety Executive had not yet ended its investigation.

They added: "We seek assurance from Dorset Police that their wildlife crime remit is still operational and that other significant ongoing raptor persecution investigations are fully investigated ‘without fear or favour’ as per Police Oath."

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