Four men have been charged in connection with wildlife crime offences in Dumfries and Galloway.

The suspects, aged 59, 52, 46 and 31, were arrested in the Stewartry area of the region, police confirmed on Thursday.

The arrests come amid ongoing investigations into reports of persecution against protected birds of prey and wildlife in Parton, near Castle Douglas.

A report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

Wildlife Crime Officer Constable John Cowan said: “All allegations of wildlife crime are taken very seriously and matters such as this will be investigated vigorously in Dumfries and Galloway.

“We have excellent relationships with members of the public in our rural communities and they are only too keen to let us know when the magnificent wildlife in the area is coming to harm.

“We will continue to robustly investigate wildlife crime alongside our many partners in the hope that we can completely eradicate such practices.”