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Golden eagle disappears in “suspicious" circumstances
The missing eagle had been translocated as part of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project.
A police investigation into the disappearance is ongoing.

The police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward following the disappearance of a golden eagle in the Scottish Borders.

Merrick, a female golden eagle, was last seen on Thursday, 12 October to the west of Fountainhall, between Heriot and Stow.

Despite a search of the area, after she was reported missing on Wednesday, 18 October, Merrick has not been found and the police are treating her disappearance as “suspicious”.

The eagle had been translocated to the Scottish Borders last year as part of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project. The conservation scheme aims to increase the species’ population in the region by relocating eagles from further north.

The chair of the project, Michael Clarke, said: “The disappearance of any golden eagle is extremely upsetting, but particularly when there is evidence to suggest that they have come to harm under suspicious circumstances.”

Eagles in the project are satellite-tagged and their location monitored. Police Scotland are continuing to investigate the disappearance.

Detective sergeant David Lynn, Police Scotland wildlife crime coordinator, said: “We are determined to protect these magnificent birds. We work closely with a number of partners to tackle wildlife crime, which can be challenging and complex to investigate.

“As our enquiry continues I would urge anyone with any information that may assist to contact us through 101 quoting reference number 1193 of 18 October. Alternatively, please contact Crimestoppers through 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."