RSPB
Print page

RSPB Scotland welcomes first UK prison sentence for raptor persecution

Last modified: 13 January 2015

Adult goshawk

Mr Mutch was imprisoned after being convicted of four counts relating to the persecution of Goshawks and other raptors

Image: Mark Hamblin

RSPB Scotland has welcomed the first imprisonment for raptor persecution following the conviction of gamekeeper George Mutch.

Welcoming the custodial sentence awarded at Aberdeen Sheriff Court to the convicted bird of prey killer George Mutch, Duncan Orr Ewing, head of species and land management at RSPB Scotland, said: 'This sentence is an historic, landmark result. Mr Mutch has been sentenced to four months in prison following his conviction for the illegal killing of a goshawk; illegal use of a trap; and illegal taking of a buzzard and a second goshawk.

'We would like to thank the Crown Office, Scottish SPCA and Police Scotland for helping to bring this case to a successful conviction, as well as the exemplary work of the RSPB Scotland investigations team. 

'This penalty should be a turning point, sending a clear message to those determined to flout our laws that wildlife crime will not be tolerated but instead will be treated with the seriousness that it deserves. Wildlife criminals must expect no sympathy from now on.'

George Mutch, who was convicted last month, was a gamekeeper working on the Kildrummy Estate near Alford in Aberdeenshire.

Video footage

Warning: this footage contains scenes some people may find distressing. 

How you can help

Persecution is still causing the deaths of hundreds of birds of prey every year. A donation to our appeal will help us put these awe-inspiring birds back in the skies where they belong.

Back to basics

Bird guide

Share this