A pensioner has been convicted of killing more than a dozen raptors and other wild birds in Dumfries and Galloway.
Barry Nicolle’s charges related to the reckless use of illegal poison resulting in the deaths of 15 birds, including five red kites, a protected bird which was once hunted close to extinction.
The birds were recovered within a mile radius of Nicolle’s address, some just a few hundred yards from his property in the Stewartry area.
Robust policing work in conjunction with forensic science found the birds had not died naturally and had in fact been poisoned with banned substances, including Aldicarb and Bendiocarb.
Nicolle admitted numerous charges at Dumfries Sheriff Court on Wednesday, April 5 and is due to be sentenced on Friday, May 19.
Wildlife officer, police constable John Cowan, said: “Extensive policing work involving a number of partners, along with forensic science, enabled us to build a case against Nicolle who had been killing protected birds over a number of years.
“Not only was there a risk to the rural environment, but also to members of the public handling poisoned birds, some of which were found near a primary school.
“Police Scotland and the partners we work with treat all types of wildlife crime very seriously and this conviction is a strong message that those who poison wild and protected birds will be robustly investigated.
“I would also like to thank the public who provided information that assisted our enquiries. This is vital to our work in combatting wildlife crime.
“I would encourage anyone who comes across a protected dead bird or animal to report it to us. Likewise if you have information about wildlife crime please get in touch via 101.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country