Monday, 15 December 2014

A Historical Day.... the battle against the raptor killers.

Goshawk. Jan Larsson. 

Last week a gamekeeper was found guilty of killing a rare bird and setting traps illegally to capture two others on an Aberdeenshire Estate, he was accused of recklessly killing or injuring a Goshawk and illegally taking away another Goshawk and a Buzzard in 2012 and was found guilty of four charges at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Buzzard. Jan Larsson. 

It is one of the first times in Scotland that hidden camera footage had been used in a case of this kind and was allowed as admissible evidence. 

I should be crying here....But this guys defence was to say the least funny when he claimed he walked up to the cage and noticed that the Goshawk's beak was a funny shape and discovered the lower part of it was broken. He went on to say he didn't think it would be able to feed because raptors tear their prey, and he thought the bird wouldn't survive, so he decided to dispatch the bird by striking it on the head with a stick after which he saw the bird was still twitching, so hit it several more times to finish the job. He then said he buried the bird in woodland because he was scared he would end up in trouble.

A spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, which has now banned the gamekeeper, said they would not condone anyone taking the law into their own hands. But then they fall flat on their faces when they say....'we believe it was wrong for individuals 'from one particular profession' to be under surveillance in their place of work without their knowledge' they added....'It is not right for Scottish government to deny people whose livelihoods come under pressure, due to the activity of certain species or animals, recourse to a legal solution to solve that conflict'....I think they really mean being granted the licence to kill birds of prey which get in the way of the shooting industry. 

The bottom line here is....if the leisure industry of killing millions of gamebirds is reliant on the illegal killing of protected species then that industry is finished.

Sentencing is to follow at a later date....Apparently a custodial sentence is being considered, but I aint putting any of my money on that one.

Thanks to Jan Larsson for the excellent and much appreciated images.


Richard Pegler said...

A historical day, indeed, Pete. Let's hope that the eventual outcome of the case doesn't end with us thinking that it was an opportunity wasted! I too fear it will.

Best wishes - - - Richard

Warren Baker said...

6 weeks suspended sentence, plus ordered to pay costs ( which will be met by the estate).......waste of time even bringing the case!
Just hope i'm wrong.

Pete Woodruff said...

Richard/Warren....Both spot on re the sentence I reckon. I know which way my moneys going.

Thanks for letting us know you read the post, much appreciated.

Bob Bushell said...

Killers of birds of prey, they are the prey, a turnabout.

Apithanny said...

Thank you for this post, i live in Aberdeen but hadn't heard about it. Despite the sentence i'll try to think of it as a step in the right direction. Hopefully we'll begin to see more people prosecuted for these terrible acts in future.

Pete Woodruff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete Woodruff said...

Bob....Spot on again.

Apithanny....Pleased I revealed this 'person' to you in the article. It was good to see you here and thanks for that.

My delete above by the way....unacceptable spelling error.