£5,000 reward offered after poisoning of two white-tailed eagles

A post-mortem examination found the birds had been poisoned with insecticide bendiocarb.

A reward of £5,000 has been offered for information following the poisoning of two white-tailed eagles in Co Antrim.

The birds were found in the Glenhead Road area of Ballymena on May 15.

A post-mortem examination revealed both birds tested positive for the insecticide bendiocarb.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is investigating how they came in contact with the insecticide.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) have offered a reward of £5,000 for information leading to the prosecution of those involved in the poisoning.

Rural and Wildlife Crime Superintendent Johnston McDowell said the illegal killing of the “majestic birds” is “disgraceful”.

“The test results suggest that an individual not only has access to the insecticide bendiocarb but has placed this in to the outside environment illegally, so that wild birds have been able to consume it,” he said.

“Bendiocarb is present in the trade product Ficam D, a powder which is only permitted for indoor use to control crawling insects such as wasps and ants, so using this active ingredient in fields would be a breach of Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR).

“The illegal killing of these beautiful birds in a popular rural area is disgraceful, and for any individual to think that they can ignore the law and lay poisonous bait which has led to the killing of these birds, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

He said officers, with support from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, have been on the ground conducting house-to-house enquiries in the areas where the birds were seen before they were found dead.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland will continue to work with our partners to tackle this criminal activity, investigate any reports made to us and prosecute offenders,” he said.

He urged anyone with information to come forward.

“There must be people in the community who are aware of individuals committing these offences, and who can come forward and assist police with any information they have,” he said.

“If you notice any suspicious activity in rural areas, notice a dead or injured bird of prey, please call police on 101, or you can make a report via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org.”

The RSPB can be contacted on their confidential Raptor Crime Hotline on 0300 999 0101 or online at crime@rspb.org.uk.

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