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, 18 January 2015

Grouse-shooting and the future of hen harriers

The Guardian, Friday 16 January 2015 19.12 GMT

It is wonderful to read that finally one of these people has been sent to jail (Gamekeeper jailed in Scotland’s first custodial sentence for killing bird of prey, 13 January). I’m sure gamekeepers will note how quickly this man was deserted by both the estate concerned and his professional association. He has apparently lost his job and his membership of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association.

This crime – beating to death a highly protected and rare bird of prey, after deliberately trapping it – is covered in Scotland by the law of vicarious liability. Presumably this will now be pursued against the gamekeeper’s employers. However, I would like to draw attention to what the SGA said after the earlier hearing: the SGA believed it was wrong for individuals “from one particular profession” to be under surveillance in their place of work without their knowledge.

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