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Nottinghamshire man caught trapping and killing buzzards

todayJanuary 29, 2022

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A Nottinghamshire man has been caught on camera setting traps for buzzards and then beating them to death with a stick.

John Orrey set the traps for the birds of prey in Kneeton, Rushcliffe, and was filmed twice by a covert camera as he drove up to the caged buzzards and killed them.

The RSPB said they were “shocked and sickened” by the offences.

Tom Grose, RSPB investigations officer, said: “When I first saw the footage I was shocked and sickened. The birds were subject to a repeated torrent of blows before being thrown into the boot of a vehicle.

“Better regulation is needed, and the RSPB has repeatedly asked for the conditions on cage traps to be tightened.”

His offending was first uncovered after a walker spotted a bird of prey in a crow cage trap and reported it to the RSPB.

Officers then discovered a live buzzard, which is a protected species, in the trap and released it.

Following the discovery, a covert camera was set up to monitor the crow cage trap, which can be used for legitimate pest control purposes but requires any creatures not being targeted to be released.

Orrey was later filmed as he beat and killed the first of two birds when it flew into the same trap on Friday January 8 last year.

He was caught on camera doing this to a second buzzard the following day.

The next week, police attended Orrey’s home in Slacks Lane, Kneeton, and a search was conducted of outbuildings and surrounding land.

Feathers and a scythe were found and when officers searched the covert camera site, they found two dead stock doves used as bait inside the crow cage trap.

Orrey pleaded guilty to possessing protected wild birds, two counts of killing a protected wild bird, using a trap to kill or take a wild bird as well as possessing an article capable of committing a wildlife offence after a scythe-type tool was discovered.

He also pleaded guilty to firearms offences, which included two counts of failing to comply with a firearms and shotgun certificate after the firearms and ammunition were found to be insecurely stored, as well as exceeding the amount of ammunition allowed by his certificate.

Appearing at Nottingham Magistrates Court on Friday, January 28, he was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months.

Orrey was also fined £1000 for each killing of the buzzard and ordered to pay £180 in compensation.

Chief Inspector Heather Sutton, Nottinghamshire Police’s lead for rural crime, said: “It is unacceptable that any wildlife should experience the kind of ordeal John Orrey subjected them to, let alone protected animals.

“Buzzards, as well as other protected animals, have this protection for a reason as it is important for the local rural areas and conservation that we continue to see them in their natural habitats.

“It is people like John Orrey who put this at risk and we are very pleased that he will now face this sentence, which we hope will allow him to recognise the seriousness of his actions and the impact it has had.”

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Rushcliffe Rob Lawton added: “What happened to these birds is horrific and this was a great effort from the officers, in conjunction with the RSPB, to investigate this, gather evidence and bring Orrey to justice.

“These actions won’t be tolerated in our area and we hope this sentence serves as a warning that it won’t be long before the joint forces of the police and partners will be knocking on the doors of anyone suspected of such crimes.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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