by Countryside Alliance

The Scottish Countryside Alliance has responded to a recent statement from Tayside Police, updating the public following the toxicology analysis of the corpse of a golden eagle found in in the Glen Quaich area near Dunkeld.

A police spokesperson said: “On April 25, 2022, officers received a report of a dead golden eagle having been found in the Glen Quaich area of Perthshire.

“A full investigation was carried out and a post mortem examination confirmed that the bird died of natural causes and no criminality was established.

“We would like to thank those involved for their assistance in reporting this to us. If anyone has any concerns in relation to this investigation, we would encourage them to contact us.”

But while rural campaigners thanked police for the update, questions have been raised about the insensitive handling of Tayside Police’s previous witness appeal statement following the discovery of the dead eagle, which despite being reported by local game keepers from a nearby estate, did not go to any lengths to publicly rule out the estate’s involvement.

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) complained that as the police had not mentioned the gamekeepers who reported the bird’s corpse, the unnamed estate and its staff had been subjected to “unwarranted” public suspicion.

It added that the appeal was then “embellished by an anti-game shooting blog” and, in the hours following the Tayside division’s statement, gamekeepers and estate staff were subjected to “relentless online abuse”.

Jake Swindells, Director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance said: “We thank Police Scotland for the much needed update on the dead golden eagle found in Perthshire. However it serves as a reminder of reserving judgement and not fanning the flames of division by tacitly pointing fingers at members of our rural community without evidence Lessons must be learnt from this.

He added: “Our sector is always happy to work with Police Scotland and assist them in any way for the benefit of rural communities, conservation and biodiversity”.

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