Live updates

Newton Stewart man fined £4450 for bird poisoning

A 62-year-old gamekeeper from Dumfries and Galloway has been fined £4450 for poisoning a bird of prey and owning illegal pesticides.

A common buzzard died after it ate a pheasant carcass that Peter Bell, from Newton Stewart, had laced with the highly toxic pesticide carbofuran.

A common buzzard Credit: PA

Mr Bell left the bait in a field on Glasserton Home Farm near Whithorn on 23rd December 2012.

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

Mr Bell 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."