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RSPB Scotland responds to sentencing of convicted buzzard killer

Last modified: 02 September 2015

Buzzard sitting on post in field

Image: Niall Benvie

On 4th August 2015 at Dumfries Sheriff Court Mr William Dick, a gamekeeper from the Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire, was found guilty of the killing and possession of a buzzard in April 2014. Today he was fined £2000 for these offences.

Commenting on this Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland’s Head of Investigations said: “We welcome this conviction and hope that this latest sentence shows that our courts take these outdated crimes seriously.

“It is unfortunate that buzzards are regularly vilified by some sectors of the gamebird shooting industry, despite them only just recovering after decades of persecution. While scientific evidence shows they have a minimal impact on released pheasants, the cruel actions of Mr Dick are symptomatic of a continued Victorian attitude towards birds of prey, one that all too frequently leads to them being illegally killed.

“We commend the prompt actions of the witnesses in reporting this incident, the rapid follow-up carried out by Police Scotland and Scottish SPCA, and the work of Procurator Fiscal Kate Fleming in securing this conviction. We note the Sheriff’s comments when sentencing Mr Dick that his actions were “to further the interests of your employer”.”

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