Written by Emma Crichton
Campaigners are calling for an update on the red kite killings on the Black Isle
A POLICE update into the mass poisoning of red kites on the Black Isle is long overdue, an RSPB officer responsible for the birds believes.
Officers insist their “unprecedented” wildlife crime investigation is still actively being pursued following the poisonings in spring 2014.
In total 22 raptors – 16 red kites and six buzzards – were found dead around Conon Bridge and the Black Isle. Sixteen of them were later confirmed as having been poisoned.
But a Black Isle-based red kite officer with the RSPB says he has heard nothing from the force for more than a year.
And Brian Etheridge, who has held the post for 20 years, believes it is important that officers keep the public fully informed.
He said: “An update would be really good because we still haven’t been told what substance was used to poison these birds or anything like that.
“With the amount of concern shown by locals about this abuse it would be nice to know if the police are getting anywhere with the investigation. If a meeting is held I would like the RSPB to be represented because I haven’t had an update from Police Scotland for over a year. Despite my role as red kite officer they’re not actually obligated to tell me anything.”
He made his comments after a Highland MSP announced plans to meet police before March to discuss the case.
Dave Thompson, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, arranged the meeting because he thinks the public needs reassurance that work is continuing to bring the bird killer to justice.