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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 18:48 GMT
Gamekeepers fined for bird traps
Hen harrier
The RSPB said birds of prey are becoming rare because of trapping
Three gamekeepers on a North Yorkshire estate have been fined for illegally trapping birds of prey.

Head gamekeeper James Shuttlewood and junior gamekeepers Charles Woof and David Cook, pleaded guilty to using cage traps containing live pigeons.

Scarborough magistrates were told that they all worked on Snilesworth shooting estate near Northallerton.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said birds of prey were becoming rare because of trapping.

Shuttlewood, of Hagg House, Snilesworth, Hawnby, pleaded guilty to five offences relating to setting traps. He was fined 250 for each offence.

Woof, of Sparrow Hall, Scugdale, Swainby, pleaded guilty to one offence of misusing a cage trap and was fined 100.

'Lack of tolerance'

Cook, of Ingleby House Farm, Ingleby, Arncliffe, pleaded guilty to two offences of setting cage traps. The 18-year-old was given a conditional discharge for two months.

All three were ordered to pay 43 costs.

RSPB officers said the illegal killing of birds of prey greatly limits the range and population of many species.

The only birds that can be legally caught using cage traps are crows.

Ian West, head of the RSPB investigations team, said: "The conviction of another three gamekeepers for attempting to kill birds of prey provides further evidence of the lack of tolerance some estates have towards these fantastic birds."

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11 Sep 07 |  England

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