POLICE in Fife are investigating the suspected poisoning of a buzzard north of Cupar.
The bird of prey was found dead by a member of the public close to Lewes Wood on the Mountquhanie estate near Hazelton Walls.
It has been sent for post-mortem examination to confirm the cause of death and identify any poison that may have been used.
PC Ian Laing, Fife Constabulary’s wildlife and environmental crime co-ordinator, said: “Fortunately, Fife has not experienced raptor poisoning as much as other areas, but this case is a concern.
“Once we have confirmed the cause of death, we will be able to look at the potential source of any poisons used with a view to tracing those responsible.”
Kath Leys, area operations manager with Scottish Natural Heritage, added: “We’re very concerned about this suspected poisoning case in Fife.
“Buzzards may be fairly common nowadays, but they’re beautiful birds which are an important part of biodiversity.”
The news comes during a government-backed campaign to advise people how to safely dispose of biocides and pesticides.
Under the scheme, farmers, growers, gamekeepers and pest controllers are able to have their unwanted, out-of-date or revoked chemicals collected for a one-off cost of £20.
Environmental groups hope it will stop them falling into the wrong hands.
The scheme runs until March 14 and full details are available online at projectsoe.org