Rare birds shot, and nailed to fence

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The Independent Online
Efforts to safeguard rare birds of prey in Britain have been dealt another blow with two more illegal killings.

The latest cases involve a peregrine falcon, which was found shot dead in the Cheviot Hills, Northumberland, and an osprey which was nailed to a fence in the Belford area of the county. The peregrine was found by a walker in the hills; tests confirmed it had been killed with a shotgun. An investigation has failed to discover who killed the bird but the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and the Northumbria police are highlighting the case to draw attention to the problem. Police have also been investigating the death of the osprey. Both species are protected by special penalties - those who kill or injure the birds can face fines of up to pounds 5,000.