The public should be helped to understand why birds of prey are protected

A Red Kite in flight
A Red Kite in flight

I echo the recent call for members of the public to work to protect birds of prey, particularly the Buzzard and Red Kite after poisoning incidents have been reported in Co Tyrone.

These birds of prey are protected under the law, and as such, setting out to harm or kill these animals is an offence. I can find no reason why somebody would wish to poison an animal like this to start with, an education process would be helpful to inform the public on these species and the reasons why they are protected.

A dead Red Kite

A dead Red Kite

I understand that in recent years, the highly toxic poison, carbofuran has been used to kill these animals which is alarming since carbofuran was banned from the EU in 2001. Clearly, more work needs to be done to protect these birds from those out there intent on causing harm.

If you are aware of potential areas in which poison is being used to kill these birds, I urge you to contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

Tom Elliott MP, UUP,Fermanagh and Sth Tyrone