by Investigations reporter Ruby Kitchen
Published on the17 April 2014
Attacks against birds of prey in the Harrogate district have been branded a “national disgrace” as it emerges 14 treasured red kites have been viciously killed with deadly poisons.
North Yorkshire has been consistently named the worst county for persecution in England and Wales since 1991, with the RSPB reporting 87 raptors have been confirmed shot, poisoned, or trapped.
Now, since a protection scheme was brought in at Harewood in 1991 to save red kites from the brink of extinction, it’s emerged that 21 have been killed with pieces of poisoned meat - with 14 dying in Nidderdale alone.
“The scale of poisonings is a disgrace for North Yorkshire,” said RSPB Investigator Howard Jones.
“People travel great distances to see red kites. We are so fortunate to have these birds in our area.
“But some people will not tolerate them and will go to great lengths to ensure they are not in our skies any more.”
Red kites were released on the Harewood estate in 1999 as part of a special project to protect them from extinction.