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.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

CRUELTY TO BIRDS: Suspended sentence for falconer guilty of cruelty

Posted by: Kevin Heath / 1 day ago
The former manager of Barn at Beal’s bird of prey centre near Berwick has been sentenced to nine weeks suspended prison sentence, 150 hours of community service and banned from owning birds for 10 years. Thomas Burford, 22, was found guilty of sustained cruelty of birds in his care by Newcastle magistrates.

Burford took over the running of the Barn at Beal’s in March last year after training as a falconer. But his defence stated that it soon became too much responsibility and care of the birds suffered.

Burford pleaded guilty to the nine charges of cruelty including cruelty to barn owls and European eagle owls.

Burford had studied animal management at Kirkly Hall and had over three years of work experience as a falconer.

His mistreatment of the birds was discovered after a tip-off to the local wildlife crime officer. A falconer who was visiting the centre for a day out filmed Burford allowing a member of the public to drag a bird of prey across the ground with a rope after the birds talons become entangled in the rope.


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