A RED kite found in the North Yorkshire countryside was killed by poison bait, it has been confirmed.
The bird of prey was found just outside Ferrensby between Knaresborough and Boroughbridge in December. Tests have now confirmed high levels of chloralose, a pesticide, in its kidney - meaning it is likely the bird ate bait laced with the poison.
Sergeant Kevin Kelly, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: "North Yorkshire’s wonderful countryside is host to many specially-protected birds of prey, including red kites. It is completely unacceptable that people think they can ignore the law and subject these birds to poisonings and other forms of persecution without consequence."
“Like other forms of rural crime, raptor persecution is not a problem that the police can tackle alone. If everyone keeps their eyes open for illegal traps and poisoned bait, it will be a massive boost to our surveillance operation."
The bird would have succumbed within a few minutes of eating the poison, but could have carried the bait some distance before eating it so the location it found the carcase is unknown.