News

Police hunt for wedge-tailed eagle killer

By Geoff Adams

A government department has confirmed the mysterious deaths of scores of wedge-tailed eagles in the Violet Town district have been caused by pesticide poisoning.

Assisted by police, authorities have executed three search warrants in recent months to try to find who has killed more than 150 protected birds.

In August, officers from the Office of the Conservation Regulator (OCR), with the support of Victoria Police, executed a search warrant at a property north of Violet Town after a number of deceased wedge-tailed eagles were found in the area.

Acting Program Manager Compliance Operations, Andrew Dean, said tests detected insecticide in six wedge-tailed eagle carcasses.

“Samples were also taken from carcasses of animals suspected of being used as bait and have also tested positive for the same chemical.

“As part of the ongoing investigation, a further two search warrants were executed at properties in Shepparton East and Goomalibee during late September.

“More line searches have also been conducted near Violet Town last week and an additional 47 native birds, including 25 wedge-tailed eagles, have been found, bringing the total number to almost 200.

“It remains unclear if these birds were deliberately poisoned, however given the large number of birds found nearby, it’s a possibility,” Mr Dean said.

To make a confidential report you can contact CrimeStoppers by phone on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au/report-a-crime/