As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Falconry owner in court over endangered birds

The owner of a North Somerset falconry has been fined £7,000 for displaying and selling endangered species of birds of prey without the correct paperwork.

Andrew McManus-Dunkley, of Cranmore Caravan Park, Bullocks Lane, Kingston Seymour, was found guilty of six charges of the prohibited display of an endangered species and one charge of the prohibited sale of a bird when he appeared before North Somerset Magistrates Court.

He admitted one charge of selling a European eagle owl without the necessary documentation.

The court heard how Mr McManus-Dunkley had a range of birds at his Banwell Falconry business, then based at Blagdon Water Gardens in Upper Langford, between February and August 2011.

The birds included a peregrine falcon called Lessa, a common buzzard called Ziggy, a Tawny Owl called Gizmo, an unnamed tawny owl and European eagle owls Chimera and Rocko.

The falconry was visited by wildlife inspectors from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) and police wildlife crime officers in August 2011 following concerns about birds being sold and used commercially in contravention of the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations 1997.

All birds of prey found in England are protected by legislation to ensure that they are only used commercially and legitimately using documents issued under the provisions of the European Wildlife Trade Regulations.

The court heard how Mr McManus-Dunkley had been working with birds of prey for 30 years, initially starting up his business in a cottage before moving to Puxton Park and then to Blagdon Water Gardens.

Mr McManus Dunkley was fined £7,000 for the offences, ordered to pay court costs of £620 and a victim surcharge of £15. He was also ordered to forfeit the birds.

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