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Goshawk found wandering in Tonypandy

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Pictured: The goshawk prior to being transferred to a specialist facility.

RSPCA Cymru has issued a reminder about the law surrounding the ownership of goshawks, after rescuing a stray found in Tonypandy.

The male goshawk – who was wearing jesses – was collected by the RSPCA on Saturday 1 August, after he was spotted venturing down the road on foot by a member of the public.

Owned goshawks – like some other birds of prey – must be registered by their keeper under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and must be either ringed or microchipped.

The only exception is for those rehabilitating a sick, injured or disabled bird of prey, where authorised persons can provide treatment under general licence for a period of 15 days – or longer for a veterinarian, who could keep a goshawk for up to six weeks without registration under general licence.

However, this male goshawk was not ringed or microchipped – suggesting the bird was illegally owned. The animal welfare charity fears this bird could have been taken from a nest in the wild at a young age. The RSPB says goshawk nests are “frequently robbed”.

The goshawk – who is approximately four months of age – has a slight injury to his wing. He has been transferred to a specialist centre for ongoing treatment and care.

RSPCA chief inspector Elaine Spence said: “This goshawk came to our attention after being found – wearing jesses – walking down a Tonypandy road.

“He has a minor wing injury, and is now at a specialist centre.

“The law surrounding goshawks is clear – but this incident has prompted us to issue a reminder to the public.

“Except in specific and time-limited cases of rehabilitation, keepers must register them, and either ring or microchip them – but that hadn’t happened to this goshawk.

“This gives us cause to believe this goshawk was illegally owned – and sadly, we know goshawk nests are frequently a target for wildlife crime.”

Rhys Gregory
Editor of Wales247.co.uk

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