Gamekeeper fined for poisoning bird of prey

A gamekeeper who poisoned a common buzzard has been fined �4.450. Picture: Justin Spittle/TSPL

A gamekeeper who poisoned a common buzzard has been fined �4.450. Picture: Justin Spittle/TSPL

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A gamekeeper who poisoned a bird of prey and owned illegal pesticides has been fined £4,450.

• Gamekeeper who poisoned common buzzard fined £4,450

• Peter Bell, 62, also found guilty of owning illegal pesticides

The common buzzard died after eating the carcass of a pheasant that Peter Bell laced with highly toxic pesticide carbofuran.

The 62-year-old left the bait in a field on Glasserton Home Farm near Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway, on December 23 last year.

The full-time gamekeeper is responsible for rearing pheasants and organising shooting on Glasserton and Phsygill Estates which includes land on the farm.

The illegal poisonous substances carbofuran, strychnine and alphachloralose were found his tool shed and home during a search on March 5.

Bell, of Whithorn, Newton Stewart, pleaded guilty at Stranraer Sheriff Court to one charge of killing a wild bird and three of having illegal pesticides under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Craig Harris, wildlife and environment procurator fiscal, said: “The killing of this buzzard was considered and deliberate criminality. The laying of bait laced with carbofuran was shockingly irresponsible conduct.

“It was compounded by the stocks of other illegal poisons that were kept.

“The law protects wild birds and those who seek to poison them, or continue to possess stocks of illegal poison, can fully expect to be brought before the courts.”

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