Dorset Police has issued a statement about the investigation into the death of a rare white-tailed sea eagle found dead on a shooting estate in North Dorset in Jaunary.

The statement reiterates that is "insufficient evidence to prove an offence of wilful poisoning by an individual" - despite the protected bird of prey have seven times the amount of posion in its body needed to kill it. 

The dead male bird of prey, often called the 'flying barn door' eagle due to its two-metre wing span, was released in an reintroduction project on the Isle of Wight in 2020. 

At the end of March the RSPB said it was "baffled" when Dorset Police announced that they will not be taking further action - despite finding high levels of the rodenticide brodifacoum - since they "could not confirm if any criminal offence had been committed".

Today (Friday), assistant chief constable of Dorset Police Rachel Farrell said: “Dorset Police has completed its investigation into the death of a white-tailed sea eagle found on private land in the county earlier this year.

“Following the report of the white-tailed sea eagle being found deceased in January 2022, the matter was initially investigated by Dorset Police alongside Natural England and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

“Following further communication with partner agencies, a review of the investigation was commenced by experienced detectives to ensure no investigative opportunities had been missed and to enable further work with Natural England and the Health and Safety Executive to understand the evidence.

“As part of the reinvestigation, further lines of enquiry were identified and we engaged with the wildlife crime lead from the CPS.

"However, following consultation with Natural England and the HSE, the review concluded that, although there was very high levels of rodenticides in the bird, there was insufficient evidence to prove an offence of wilful poisoning by an individual – so no one person can be proven to have been criminally responsible for the bird’s death.

"Therefore, in line with national guidance, the matter remains under investigation by HSE.

“Evidence from a post-mortem examination concluded the White Tailed Sea Eagle died as a result of consuming those rodenticides, which is a type of pesticide regulated by the HSE."

The HSE confirmed that it is looking into how rodenticides are stored.

An HSE spokesperson said: “Further to the enquires made to date, we are making enquiries to check that rodenticides are being stored, managed and used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and any relevant restrictions.”

The Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation is managing the sea eagle reintroduction project.

On its blog it confirmed that what the police called "high levels" of poison found in the bird was in fact seven times more than the amount needed to kill it.

The blog states: "Post mortem and toxicology testing through the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme has subsequently identified brodifacoum poisoning as the cause of death.

"Brodifacoum is a highly toxic anticoagulant rodenticide that causes internal haemorrhaging.

"The bird’s liver contained approximately seven times the amount of brodifacoum required to kill a bird like a white-tailed eagle.

"The satellite data indicates that the eagle, which was otherwise healthy, deteriorated and died over a period of several days."

White-tailed sea eagles disappeared from the UK during the early 20th century but six juveniles were released on the Isle of Wight as part of a reintroduction programme.

They are one of the UK's largest and rarest birds.