It appears that the RSPB won’t not be happy until someone is convicted of a crime, even when there is inconclusive evidence to show that any criminal offence has in fact been committed (‘Dorset Police explain white-tailed eagle investigation decision’ - Dorset Echo, 30 March).

Although high levels of Brodifacoum were found in the white-tailed eagle that was found dead in North Dorset, this is a widely available poison that is commonly used as a rat and mouse killer.

Carrion can be an important part of the white-tailed eagle’s diet, especially in winter, and therefore it is perfectly possible that the cause of death was the unfortunate result of secondary rodenticide poisoning; a conclusion reached by Dorset Police following a full investigation that was carried out with, amongst others, the National Wildlife Crime Unit and RSPB.

Brodifacoum is one of the most potent second-generation anticoagulants, and due to the significant risks to non-target species, the poison must be used within appropriate lockable tamper-resistant bait stations, and it is essential to survey and remove bodies from the treatment area on a regular basis to prevent such incidents from occurring.

It is unknown why the RSPB should claim to be ‘completely baffled’ by the decision to end the investigation, and one can therefore only assume that the outcome was not one that meet their agenda.

But much as they might wish it to be the case, thankfully not every death of a bird of prey is due to deliberate persecution.

Adrian Blackmore

Director, Countryside Alliance London