Local Farmers Meet MSPs and Police on Raptor Deaths

NFU Scotland members have met with their local MSPs to discuss the appalling deaths of 20 birds of prey in the Highlands.

NFUS Highland Regional Chairman Jim Whiteford, accompanied by farmers from the Conon Bridge area, met with Rob Gibson and Dave Thomson at Dingwall market today (21 April).  The farming community continues to work closely with Police Scotland and two officers also attended today’s meeting.

A group of farmers and landowners from the Moray Firth area have already come together to condemn the incident and have pledged £12,000 towards the reward fund for information about the deaths of the birds of prey.  It has been reported that fourteen red kites and six buzzards have now been discovered near Conon Bridge, with tests showing several had been poisoned.
Speaking after today’s meeting, Jim Whiteford, said:
“This is a horrifying and dreadful incident which has appalled local farmers.  We want to work with all interested parties, agencies and the police to get to the bottom of this.  It was gratifying that our local politicians and Police Scotland took the time to meet with us today to discuss the ongoing situation.

“Farmers and landowners want those responsible to be found and prosecuted and they have shown their clear support and commitment through their contributions to the growing reward fund.

“The deaths of these birds is senseless and unacceptable and we continue to urge anyone with information to come forward and contact Police Scotland on 101.”  

Following the meeting, Rob Gibson MSP added:
“Both locally and nationally, wildlife crime now has a much higher profile and that will help to solve this case. It is encouraging to see how seriously Police Scotland are taking this poisoning and what may be a criminal act.”

Dave Thompson MSP said:
“Hopefully the worst of this incident is behind us and we can focus on bringing those responsible to account.”

Notes to Editors

  • NFU Scotland Highland Regional Chairman Jim Whiteford and local farmer Ewan Macdonald met with MSPs Rob Gibson and Dave Thompson along with Acting Chief Inspector Jason Beeston and Superintendent Graeme Murdoch from Police Scotland.  A photograph of the group is available on request from


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 76/14

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