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.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Newcastle falconer faces animal cruelty charges against birds of prey

Falconer Thomas Burford who has been charged with 12 counts of animal crueltyA young falconer from High Heaton, Newcastle, who helped save a North East bird of prey centre is facing animal cruelty charges.

A young falconer who helped save a North East bird of prey centre is facing a string of animal cruelty charges.

Thomas Burford took over the reins at the centre at Barn at Beal, in north Northumberland, when it was threatened with closure earlier this year.

But, less than a year later, the 22-year-old is facing 12 animal cruelty and neglect charges relating to birds he kept at the centre and at his home in Benton Road, High Heaton, Newcastle.

The charges involve numerous birds of prey, including various breeds of falcons, Harris hawks, runner ducks, baby barn owls, European eagle owls, American kestrels, chaco and African spotted owls, red-trailed buzzards, a merlin hybrid, a bengal owl and a showy owl.

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