Recent information on social media has expressed concerns about a possible police ‘cover up’ in relation to some serious wildlife poisoning incidents in Powys during 2012 and 2013.  The police have responded with a short statement.  Having been involved from the outset with this investigation, I thought it would be helpful to provide a bit more information to allay concerns.
In October 2012, in company with colleagues from RSPB Investigations, I visited an estate inside the Brecon Beacons National Park in Powys, Wales.  Near to two pheasant release pens we located the remains of some pheasant carcases.  They had obviously been there a while and alongside one of them was the decomposed corpse of a red kite.  The pheasant carcases also had many dead insects and the circumstances clearly suggested they were poison baits laid out earlier in the year.  We documented the scenes and safely collected the items with appropriate equipment.   The red kite was not able to be tested, but toxicology tests organised by Welsh Government under the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme confirmed the presence of the pesticide bendiocarb in four pheasant carcases – so they had clearly been laid out as poison baits, and undoubtedly led to the death of the kite.  Bendiocarb is a highly toxic product which can be used legally as an insecticide, but unfortunately has featured in a number of wildlife poisoning cases.  Dyfed Powys Police were informed but there was insufficient evidence to make further enquiries into any potential suspects at this stage.
In August 2013, I had been working with a colleague on an unrelated raptor persecution enquiry in Shropshire.  We decided to make an evening visit to the area in Powys and as we reached a field, where we had found a poison bait and the dead kite the previous year, we saw a fairly fresh vehicle track through the rushes and grass.  Within a few metres of this track was a fairly fresh looking corpse of a pheasant with the breast muscle exposed and a number of dead insects.

A pheasant carcase laced with the pesticide bendiocarb and laid out as a poison bait.