RSPB reward over rare bird found dead in Derbyshire

X-ray of the female goshawk with both legs broken Image copyright RSPB
Image caption The 11-year-old female Goshawk was found dead on the Chatsworth Estate with both legs broken

A wildlife charity has offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction after a rare bird of prey was found dead on a Derbyshire estate.

The female Goshawk was found dead, with both legs broken, by a passer-by on the Chatsworth Estate in April.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said a post-mortem examination suggested the bird had been caught in a spring trap.

The estate's owners said they "condemn the illegal control of raptors".

Bob Elliot, from the RSPB, said: "If misused, spring traps are the bird equivalent of landmines; totally indiscriminate and lethal."

Sgt Darren Belfield, wildlife crime officer for Derbyshire police, said: "The misuse of spring traps where they are deliberately set to catch birds of prey is a barbaric act of cruelty."

The RSPB said that goshawks had been repeatedly targeted in the northern Peak District and were now on the brink of disappearing from the area completely.

It added that the area was one of the worst in the UK for the persecution of birds of prey. If the culprits are caught they could face six months in jail and a £5,000 fine.

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