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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Men charged for geese 'shootings'
Barnacle geese [Pic: RSPB Scotland]
Police said offenders faced fines or jail sentences
Six men have been charged after the carcasses of several protected birds were found in Aberdeenshire.

The remains of seven barnacle geese were recovered at an organised shoot near Ellon.

Police said the men, charged under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, were shooters aged between 35 and 71 from West Yorkshire.

A Grampian Police spokesman said: "The barnacle goose is a protected species and cannot be legally shot."

Prison sentences

Officers will make further enquiries and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

Area wildlife crime officer Constable George Sangster said: "Field sports are important to the local economy of the north east.

"At this time of year there is a great influx of visitors engaged in the perfectly lawful sport of wildfowling.

"Having said that clearly, there is a responsibility on the part of organisers and participants engaged in sports shooting to ensure that their activities remain within the law.

"Recent changes in wildlife legislation now include reckless charges in relation to the killing of wild birds with possible penalties of up to six months in prison and or a 5,000 fine for each offence."

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