Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Wildlife activist calls for review into raptor death investigation

A red kite in flight in the Highlands
A red kite in flight in the Highlands

A north wildlife activist has backed calls for a review of the police investigation into the Black Isle raptor deaths earlier this year.

Andrea Goddard, a volunteer at the Tollie red kites centre, spoke out about perceived “initial mistakes” in the investigation.

Twelve red kites and four buzzards were found to have died after consuming an illegal poison in March and April this year.

A further four red kites and two buzzards were also found dead in the same area near Conon Bridge, but it has not been confirmed whether they were also poisoned.

Police last month released a statement saying that the birds were “most likely not targeted deliberately” and that experts believed they were the victims of “pest control measures”.

The criminal investigation into the deaths is still live.

But Ms Goddard, who gathered nearly 7,000 signatures on a petition calling for Scottish SPCA investigators to be given more powers to examine wildlife crime, said that the police should be held to account.

Ms Goddard said: “I think its fair to say that everybody has been stunned by what the police had to say.

“It seemed to contradict everything they had said up to that point, I just can’t understand it at all.

“We need the police to be accountable and engage with communities about this. I welcome what Dave Thompson MSP had to say about carrying out a review of this investigation. That’s something that is very much needed here.”

Members of the Scottish Parliament’s rural affairs, climate change and environment committee quizzed senior police officers on the statement last month, as they felt it implied no criminal act had been involved.

Detective Chief Superintendent Robbie Allan told the committee “it was still an active criminal investigation”.

“What we believe is that illegal poison was placed in that area that resulted in the deaths of those birds,” he said.

“What we do not believe is that the poison was put there to kill those birds.”

Ms Goddard added: “Obviously they’ve said already that the birds were killed with a banned poison which is criminal in itself.

“There seemed to be so many initial mistakes in the investigation to me as an observer.

“Their most recent statement made it sound as if they were trying to draw a line under the whole thing and negate any responsibility.”

A police spokesman said: “Police Scotland, with our partners the RSPB and SSPCA, has kept this investigation under review to ensure we are using every evidential opportunity open to us.

“It remains an ongoing, live investigation.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in