£1,000 reward for info on Bakewell hawk murder

The RSPB is offering a £1,000 reward for information after a bird of prey was found dead in Bakewell.

Sunday, 18th May 2014, 7:00 am
A female goshawk.

A female goshawk was discovered at the Chatsworth Estate with two broken legs by a member of the public who alerted the bird charity on April 2.

Post mortem analysis revealed that both of the hawk’s legs had been broken in the same place indicating injuries that are consistent with being caught in a spring trap.

Spring traps are only lawful if placed in accordance with guidance for their use, for example in tunnels to catch stoats and weasels, or in situations where they cannot trap non-target species.

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Targeting birds of prey has been illegal since 1904 and carries a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine and or six months imprisonment.

Goshawks have been subjected to a high level of illegal persecution in the northern Peak District where they are now teetering on the brink of extinction.

Sgt Darren Belfield, Derbyshire wildlife crime officer, said: “We are appealing to anyone who may have information about this incident, or any other wildlife persecution incident to come forward and speak to the police in confidence. The misuse of spring traps where they are deliberately set to catch birds of prey is a barbaric act of cruelty which shows a clear disregard for the law and the conservation status of this protected species. Derbyshire and the Peak District National Park should be a haven for wildlife species, and one where visitors to the area can expect to come and experience our natural diversity at its best.

“Activity like this is a blight on our county and countryside and we are keen to pursue and prosecute the perpetrators of such offences, anyone involved in this type of criminal activity can expect proactive enforcement action.”