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  Anger at 'hunting with eagles' trips
Updated 08 December 2002, 17.35
Eagle
Animal rights campaigners are outraged at a Scottish falconry centre which is offering "hunting with eagles" day-trips for tourists.

The hunting trips with the massive birds of prey are being seen as an alternative to hunting with dogs, which was banned in Scotland in February.

The day-trippers are told how to handle the birds, which include golden, bald and white-tailed eagles.

Then the hunters take the metre-tall (3ft) eagles into the mountains. There they set them loose to swoop on and kill wild animals like hares, rabbits and even foxes and small deer.

Call for ban

Fact File
Eagle facts
Prefer mountainous, treeless habitats
Nest in large trees or rock faces
Hunt medium-sized animals like rodents, rabbits, hares and young deer
Can stay in the air for hours
About 440 golden eagle pairs in Scotland

Animal rights campaigners say the trips are cruel and want them banned.

But according to campaigners, there is nothing that can be done legally to stop them.

The unusual trips are the first to be held in Europe and tourists from the US, Germany, Australia and China have said they are interested in going on them.

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