Basel-City – Police caught a raptor poisoner

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Four peregrine falcons and two buzzards have been killed in the German-speaking canton since the summer of 2020. The police have just got their hands on a suspect. His home was searched.

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The birds were most likely poisoned with carbofuran, a pesticide banned in Switzerland for several years.

The birds were most likely poisoned with carbofuran, a pesticide banned in Switzerland for several years.

Basel City Police

Four peregrine falcons have been killed in the canton of Basel-City since the summer of 2020.

Four peregrine falcons have been killed in the canton of Basel-City since the summer of 2020.

Mathias Schäf/ Birdlife Schweiz

An investigation by the Basel-City police, relating to the poisoning of six birds of prey since the summer of 2020, has just borne fruit. Investigators say they have found a suspect. The man is accused of having killed four peregrine falcons and two buzzards with a pesticide banned in Switzerland, carbofuran.

The home of the suspect, who has already been questioned, was searched last Monday. He will be prosecuted for various violations, including the Federal Animal Welfare Act, the Hunting Act and the Chemicals Act.

“Suicide Pigeons”

The cantonal police did not give more precise information on the suspect. We can however suppose that the man comes from the middle of the breeders of birds or pigeons. Hawks and buzzards were probably poisoned by means of “suicide pigeons”. These are “prepared” with poison and released near raptors. The peregrine falcons then grab the poisoned bait and feed it to their offspring and themselves.

Several such cases have been identified in recent years in Switzerland, particularly in Zurich, where a breeder had to appear in court. for painting the back of one of his pigeons with an ultra-toxic pesticide in 2015 to poison a falcon.

In December 2017, the Zurich Supreme Court also sentenced another pigeon breeder, then aged 37, to a suspended prison sentence of 15 months and a fine of 1,500 francs for similar acts. The man had also prepared a “kamikaze pigeon”. However, it had been captured before it could cause any damage.

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