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North Yorkshire game farmer fined over 'cruel traps'

A game farmer from Cropton in North Yorkshire has been found guilty of permitting the use of a pole trap on his farm and fined £4000 by Scarborough Magistrates.

Michael Wood, who is 68, was also ordered to pay £750 court costs and a £120 victim surcharge, following the use of covert surveillance by RSPB Investigations Unit staff.

Two members of Mr Wood’s staff had previously been cautioned by North Yorkshire Police for the use of five pole traps on the farm.

Magistrates ruled it was “inconceivable” that Mr Wood would not have seen one of the pole traps being used by his staff. Westfield Farm rears pheasants and partridges for the game shooting industry.

Pole traps are a method of trapping birds that was outlawed over a hundred years ago. They consist of a steel trap placed on top of a pole that crushes the legs of any wild bird that land on them.

RSPB Investigations Officer, Howard Jones, said: “It is time that these cruel traps were consigned to the history books, but as long as they are being used we will continue to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice."

Fiancee searching for answers over future husband's mystery death

A grieving fiancee is searching for answers over how her husband-to-be died.

Rebecca and Brett before his death in December 2014

The couple had just started planning their wedding - when Brett had a motorbike crash on a rural road in North Yorkshire, just a few weeks before Christmas. Surgerons at Leeds General Infirmary were unable to save him.

He was everything to me. For seven years we've barely spent a day apart and now I'm never going to see him again.

– Rebecca Gregory

Rebecca Gregory returned to the scene to speak about Brett's death in the hope someone can provide answers:

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Huntsman found guilty of blocking badger sett

A member of the Middleton Hunt has been ordered to do 120 hours community service after he was found guilty of blocking up a badger sett at a two day trial at Scarborough magistrates court. 44-year-old Lee Martin, who's a terrierman with the Malton-based Hunt, was also ordered to pay £970 costs after he was found guilty of interfering with a badger sett near Scrayingham last March. The case was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service following an investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports.

Council considers grouse shooting ban

Grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor could be banned next week after a high profile campaign group submitted a petition to Bradford Council.

File photo of a shooting butt in Yorkshire at the start of the Grouse shooting season.

Currently the council has a ten-year agreement allowing Bingley Moor Partnership to shoot grouse until 2018, but there are calls for that deal to be ditched.

Last year a 1,000-name petition was handed in by the group who has previously organised sit-ins to disrupt shoots.

Councillors will consider whether to let the shoots continue as is, ending the agreement subject to a six-month notice period, or letting it continue but prohibiting pest control.

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