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Gamekeeper fined for killing wild birds

A 53-year-old gamekeeper has been fined for killing an owl and a goshawk.

A 53-year-old gamekeeper has been fined for killing an owl and a goshawk.

Peter Givens, a gamekeeper from Stow in Galashiels, was fined £300 after pleading guilty to a charge under Section 1(1)(a) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 at Selkirk Sheriff Court today.

The court heard that on the morning of 23 September 2020 a multi crow cage trap was found on the edge of woodland at Cathpair Farm. The trap was found to contain two dead birds. The trap identification number attached to the cage was registered to Givens.

Trap licence conditions state that when in use, all traps must be checked at least once every day at intervals of no more than 24 hours.

These checks must be sufficient to determine whether there are any live or dead birds or other animals in the trap and that any dead or sickly bird must be removed immediately from the trap.

The birds had been dead for some considerable time.

Both birds would have died after becoming trapped in the cage trap and died of a combination of dehydration, starvation and exposure to the weather elements. This would have caused both birds considerable suffering.

Fiona Caldwell, Procurator Fiscal, Wildlife and Environment, said:

“Peter Givens reckless actions and his failure to release these birds unharmed led to their suffering and deaths.

“Wild birds are given strict protection under our wildlife laws and COPFS will continue to prosecute such cases where appropriate to ensure that offenders are brought to justice.”