Poison warning issued by police

POLICE are warning people to stay away from dead birds after a suspected poisoning attempt against a Peregrine Falcon.

Officers believe a chicken carcass found at one of the rare bird’s Calderdale nesting sites was laced with poison in an attempt to attract and then kill it. Investigations are ongoing.

Special Constable and wildlife officer Phil Sanderson said it was a very worrying development.

“In all my 30 years’ service as an officer and now as the wildlife officer for Calderdale I have not heard of an attempt like this,” he said.

“People will use all sorts of deadly and highly toxic poisons in an effort to bring harm to these creatures.

“But the poisons they use are highly dangerous and indiscriminate. A child could have picked up this carcass and then who knows what would have happened?

“And dogs could be attracted to a carcass with deadly results. Not only is it very sad that someone would want to try and kill one of these beautiful birds but they are also risking people’s lives.

“If it is a carcass that is intended to cause harm then it will more than likely be split open.

“If you see one cover the bird up so that it doesn’t pose a risk to anyone else. If it looks wrong then it usually is.”

SC Sanderson is also warning off-road enthusiasts to stick to recognised and official sites as ground nesting birds enter a critical time.

“I take this job very seriously and will be watching over sites across Calderdale,” he said. “All the important sites are also monitored by local enthusiasts who keep a constant vigil for any suspicious activity which then comes back to me.”

Anybody who comes across a suspicious carcass or sees suspicious activity is asked to contact police.

l HAVE you come across anything suspicious like this when you have been out and about? Email us at todnews@todmordennews.co.uk or hbtimes@hebdenbridgetimes.co.uk