Gamekeeper guilty of illegal cage trapping

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A gamekeeper working on National Trust land has been found guilty of attempting to trap and kill birds of prey illegally.

Glenn Brown, 39, operated the trap during his employment on land in the Upper Derwent Valley, Derbyshire, on various dates between April 14 and May 25 last year.

During a 10-day trial, Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court heard that Brown – who denied all charges against him – was originally arrested by Derbyshire Police in May last year following a covert surveillance operation by an RSPB investigations team that filmed him using a cage trap baited with a live domestic pigeon.

Although cage traps are legal in certain circumstances for predator control, it is unlawful to use a pigeon as bait and to capture birds of prey.

The gamekeeper was convicted yesterday of seven offences under the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981, relating to the unlawful use of the cage trap, a spokesman for the RSPB said.

He was sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay £10,000 costs.