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DEFRA and the RSPCA have been blamed by an accredited falconer for the death of an injured golden eagle.

Last November, Kent falconer and Hawk Board member Roy Lupton was exercising his captive golden eagles together with fellow falconers in the Highlands.

One of the captive eagles got into a fight with a wild golden eagle, which ended up badly injured.

Mr Lupton obtained a licence from the Scottish Government to rehabilitate the eagle.

?A few months later I was ready to release the eagle back into the wild,? said Mr Lupton. ?However, on May 5th my house and aviaries were raided by police and the RSPB, who took the eagle to an RSPCA centre in East Sussex.?

?I was later questioned by police over why I was in possession of a protected wild bird. The case was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, but no charges were brought against me.?

After 4 weeks, Mr Lupton was told he could take the eagle home.

?Despite my protests, the RSPCA kept the eagle in a highly inappropriate cage, which resulted in the eagle?s condition declining dramatically. The eagle died a week after I got it home. I blame DEFRA and the RSPCA for the death of this bird,? he said.

Vets John Brown and Neil Forbes said the postmortem findings revealed the eagle died of an E.Coli infection.

?The unsuitable conditions under which the eagle was housed at the RSPCA centre were the major contributing factor for this infection,? Mr Brown concluded.

The RSPCA?s Kate Geary commented: ?This is a very sad and tragic event. RSPCA staff did express their concern there may be an underlying health problem with the bird. Mr Lupton viewed the bird twice when it was in the RSPCA?s care, including once with his own vet, Mr Brown, and on each occasion neither he nor his vet raised any concerns about the conditions in which the bird was being kept.?

Charlie Jacoby, of Fieldsports Channel, which investigated the story, said: ?As so often, the disproportionate power of the RSPCA, DEFRA and the RSPB allows them to ride roughshod over country people far better qualified to deal with wild birds.?

Let us know what you think about this!

  • David Tyne

    Apparently the talk of the tea room at the House of Commons today was the RSPCA is being prosecuted for cruelty to the 10 German Shepherd dogs that were killed with a bolt gun. Why has the RSPCA not been prosecuted over this disgraceful incident with the eagle too? Hopefully, they will be banned from looking after animals. How many other offences would they ask to be taken into consideration?

  • Tony Scott

    Bearing in mind that the vet employed by Mr Lupton commented “I cannot be certain the bird’s death was a direct result of the Defra seizure and the period of RSPCA care” I would have thought a successful prosecution is very unlikely.

  • Cousin Jack

    A prosecution should be pursued against the RSPCA.

    If the situation had been as a consequence of Mr. Lupton’s husbandry they would have no doubt pursued him with a vengeance……

    Lawyers out there?

  • Tony Scott

    This article is lacking some information. Mr Lupton said the eagle was fit enough to be released in January, but the weather was against him, so he cancelled a release attempt. But the eagle was still in his possession on May 5th when he was visited by the police. A delay of over 3 months is extremely surprising and clearly was not in the best interests of the eagle. If the eagle had been released in January or at the latest February the RSPCA would never have been involved. I’m not defending inadequate care by the RSPCA, but correct details should be given.

  • David Tyne

    Is it true that the RSPCA will be prosecuted over this “rescue”. The Animal Welfare Act enabled the RSPCA to prosecute competitors, for example by alleging a failure to meet animals’ “psychological and ethnological” needs under s.9. This significantly lowered the threshold for successful RSPCA private prosecutions of farmers, but could also be used to good effect against the RSPCA itself. Did this bird suffer more than the ten German Shepherds “bolted” by the RSPCA rewcently in Pontardawe? All suffered unncessarily in my view.

  • paul martin

    rspca,mmm wouldnt let them clear road kill, if it doesnt get them on tv or radio then they dont want to know, as for the rspb just another load of faceless pen pushers telling country people how to look after the wildlife in and around our countryside.