A FALCON and a pigeon have been killed in Co Tyrone in what has been described as “one of the most serious incidents of peregrine persecution in Northern Ireland for several years”.

The PSNI were last night continuing to investigate after the birds were found dead at around 10pm in the Scraghey area, near Castlederg on July 10.

It is thought those behind the attack tied up the pigeon and covered it with poison, using it as bait to trap a peregrine falcon.

DUP MLA Jim Wells, also a member of the NI Raptor Study Group, described the incident as “cruel”.

“The vigilance of several members of the Raptor Study Group and the very quick response by the PSNI has revealed what is likely to be one of the most serious incidents of peregrine persecution in Northern Ireland for several years,” he told the Ulster Herald.

“The use of poison on a pigeon to kill a protected bird of prey is cruel, dangerous and totally irresponsible. The peregrine falcon once faced extinction due to the use of pesticides and now it’s recovery is threatened by those who seek to kill adults and young using totally illegal and reckless methods”.

He added:”The research has revealed that illegal prosecution remains a problem in some parts of the county. There are those who want to prevent people living in this area from seeing the fastest bird in the world”.


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