POLICE have declared war on people who persecute birds of prey after another rare hawk was shot and injured in the region.

North Yorkshire has one of the highest levels of bird persecution in the country and local police have joined forces with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to call for an end to the practice.

In the latest incident, a farmer found a wounded buzzard on land at Dallow, near Pateley Bridge, on Tuesday.

The bird had two pellets lodged in its leg, which had been fractured by the impact.

It had also suffered broken flight feathers and was extremely malnourished.

The buzzard is being tubefed by RSPB experts and should make a full recovery after a period of nursing.

The county’s wildlife crime co-ordinator, PC Mark Rasbeary, said: “It is completely unacceptable that birds of prey are still being persecuted in this manner.”

The RSPB said 64 birds of prey, many of them rare, have been deliberately killed in North Yorkshire since 1990.

Investigations officer James Leonard said: “Over the past 20 years, North Yorkshire has the highest number of confirmed and reported incidents of bird of prey persecution.”

Contact police on 0845-60-60-24-7, Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111 or northyorkshire.police.uk/wildlifecrime