Police have charged a man after a spate of poisonings killed birds of prey over a two-year period.

The man, aged 64, was charged with wildlife crime offences in Stewartry, Dumfries and Galloway.

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More than 20 birds of prey and other wild birds perished in the Springholm area, near Castle Douglas, over a period of two years, from 2018 until now.

Investigations showed the birds had been poisoned by banned pesticides.

A report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

Wildlife Crime Officer Constable John Cowan said: "Residents in Springholm and the surrounding area as well as wildlife enthusiasts further afield will be only too well aware of a worrying rise in poisonings in and around the Springholm area over the last few years following on from previous appeals for information.

"Working alongside partners such as the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), SSPCA (Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture), SAC (Scottish Agricultural College), SGRPID (Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division), Scottish National Heritage and Scottish Land and Estates, there has been an overwhelming collective determination to halt these incidents.

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"This sends out a strong message that Police Scotland and partners treat wildlife crime very seriously and should act as a strong deterrent to anyone engaging in such activities, irrespective of the underhand tactics that may be used."