Plea to not use rat poison after stricken Buzzard found at Monkton Nature Reserve

Common Buzzard photo Mabel Amber

An emergency trip to the vets had to be undertaken at the weekend after a poisoned Buzzard was found at Monkton Nature Reserve.

The bird of prey was discovered by Trustees advisor Dr Clive Nuttman on Sunday.

He said: “I was opening up the gates in the morning and it fluttered under a bush. There was a rat carcass close by so it was most likely a victim of poisoning.

Buzzards are mainly carrion feeders and the rat may have been picked up and carried some distance.

“I picked it up and put it in a box and after taking advice found the nearest rescue was in Ashford but was told vets are obliged to help so I took it to Pets at Home and they took it in. They can try to flush the poison through but if its condition is not favourable they may have had to euthanise.

“It was very sad to see it so stricken and disorientated.”

Dr Nuttman is urging people to use humane methods rather than poison to get rid of pests. At the nature reserve a humane trap that blasts C02, causing death without poison, is used.

He said: “There are alternatives to using poison bait to get rid of rats that will avoid this unfortunate situation. Poisons accumulate in birds of prey and other scavengers, leading to a distressing and painful death.”

Buzzards used to be only found in the north and west of the country due to severe population declines. Over the last couple of decades, however, it has been doing very well and can now be found almost everywhere in the UK.

Dr Nuttman said: “Buzzards have made a fantastic comeback in Kent and are now a regular sight in Thanet.”

In a separate incident, police are investigating after reports that a heron was shot in Cliffsend. The Wildlife Conservation in Thanet facebook page posted about the incident, saying the Grey Heron was shot and killed as it flew above farmland.

The heron is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, with fines or prison sentences available for anyone killing or attempting to kill one.

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police has received a report that a Heron was shot from the sky in Chalk Hill, Ramsgate at about 11am on Saturday 16 October 2021.

“Officers from the Rural Task Force are carrying out further enquiries with the informant.”


  1. hope they catch the idiot who shot the heron sadly, the poisoner will not be caught every thing has a right to life and no sub human should be allowed to kill our wild life at random, makes me sick

  2. no need to use poison on rats or other vermin use a cage it may take longer to catch but with the right food in place it is a doddle it is more humane for the rats and any would be predator.

  3. Can never get across to a minority that poison kills others that may not be the target. Many calls I attended were after bait put under sheds of all places by so called wildlife lovers who panic when a hedgehog, not the intended victim comes from beneath the shed, having possibly eaten the slug pellets or rat poison or as bad are traps that are able to catch hedgehogs with young depending on milk from Mum hog for her HOGLETS, still some born later about but they hate the rain, but love the slugs and snails that rain attracts, again please never poison anything and if suspected victim ring 24/7 vet for urgent advice and free treatment during surgery hours but always pls ring first. Ran Thanet Wildlife Rescue & again anyone shooting at wildlife is usually illegal, (hope heron died swiftly not left) if pellets inside body, often found in x-rays of injuries post accident many swans targets of these callous bullies who then go on to control humans it has been proven by numerous U.S. serial killer studies so they should be reported as not many are in control of what is hit when shots are fired, as a rescuer I’ve been targeted with pellets in thigh, face, often via ricochet. Windscreen was targeted too.

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