Bird keeper fined over hawk sales

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A LEEDS man has been banned from keeping nine species of protected bird after admitting selling goshawks without a permit.

Terence Young, of Woodland Road, Whitkirk, appeared in court for “failing to comply with the strict controls governing the trade in endangered species”.

The 53-year-old pleaded guilty at Leeds Magistrates’ Court to two charges of illegally selling goshawks without a valid permit and three of failing to comply with the conditions of a permit. He also admitted keeping an unregistered goshawk contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The sale of goshawks, which grow to almost the same size as a buzzard, is strictly controlled by permits to stop them being taken from the wild.

These are issued in the UK by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, who carried out the investigation along with the National Wildlife Crime Unit and West Yorkshire Police.

Young was fined £360 and ordered to pay £100 costs after the hearing.

He was also banned from keeping certain protected birds of prey, including goshawks and peregrines, which must be ringed and registered if kept in captivity.

Andy McWilliam of the National Wildlife Crime Unit said: “Unlike the majority of responsible breeders, Mr Young has failed to comply with the strict controls governing the trade in endangered species.

“He seems to have treated the requirement for permits as an optional extra rather than a legal requirement.”

Alison Clarke of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency said: “This case shows that failure to comply can lead to prosecution.”

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