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Man Receives Fine for Wildlife Offence

A 65-year-old man has received a fine of £500 after being found guilty of committing an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 

Keith Riddoch received the fine for recklessly shooting a bird of prey. He was taking part in a corporate pheasant shoot at Ralia Estate near Newtonmore in November 2016.

His shot, the first of the day, wounded a common buzzard. The bird was so severely injured that it had to be euthanised. Shooting a buzzard is prohibited under Section 1(1)(a) of the 1981 Act.

“Birds of prey are given strict protection by our law,” explained Sara Shaw, Head of the Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit.

“We take people breaking our wildlife laws very seriously and it’s appropriate to ensure that offenders are brought to justice,” she said. “This conviction highlights that message.”

“The Crown will continue to prosecute such cases where there is sufficient reliable and admissible evidence to do so,” she added.

According to the latest annual wildlife crime report, there has been an 8% fall in the overall level of recorded wildlife crime in Scotland.

The most prolific crime apparently continues to be fish poaching, but reported incidences of this crime fell by 26% compared to the previous year.

One area that saw an increase in reported incidences however was hunting with dogs offences, which rose by 24 offences to 44, which is the highest number over the five-year recording period.

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