Police back Operation Owl for weekend awareness campaign

Police are poised to take part in Operation Owl, a national campaign taking place this weekend to raise awareness of the illegal killing of birds of prey.

Devon and Cornwall Police say raptor persecution can involve the shooting, poisoning or trapping of protected birds. It can also be linked to the preservation of other interests such as game species or pigeons.

Golden eagles, peregrine falcons, buzzards, red kites, hen harriers, and more are shot, poisoned and illegally trapped, as well as having their nests disturbed.

Operation Owl aims to stop this practice and bring offenders to justice.

Inspector Andrew Tomlinson, Force Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator, said: “Devon and Cornwall Constabulary are pleased to participate in Operation Owl, a national campaign to raise the awareness of the illegal killing of birds of prey.

“Fortunately such offences are rare in our area, but we are warning the public that these are protected species and killing them is a criminal offence which the police will investigate.

“Officers across the force will be paying particular attention to rural locations over the weekend and would be happy to speak to anyone who is concerned about suspicious activity.

“In the UK all wild birds, their nests, and their eggs are protected by law. It is against the law to intentionally kill, injure, or take wild birds and offences can carry a prison sentence of up to six months.

“If you have any information please contact us on 101@dc.police.uk.”

You can also pass on information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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