Category Archives: bird trapping

Duns, Scottish Borders: Alan Wilson

#TheList gamekeeper Alan P Wilson, born c. 1958, of Henlaw Cottage, Longformacus, Duns TD11 3NT – killing dozens of wildlife on Longformacus Estate

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders kept a kill list and dumped 1000 animals into a stink pit designed to attract birds of prey and other animals, which Wilson is suspected of shooting.

Wilson admitted nine charges including killing goshawks, buzzards, badgers and an otter.

The offences were committed on the Longformacus Estate in the Borders between March 2016 and June 2017.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
One source said that Alan Wilson was hellbent on killing anything that moved

The court ruled Wilson was responsible for the deaths of numerous wildlife, including protected species. Investigators found animal corpses including otters, badgers, foxes, birds of prey and more when they searched Henlaw Wood in 2017.

A captive eagle owl which the Scottish SPCA suspects was being used as a live lure on birds of prey who were subsequently shot and killed was also discovered at Wilson’s residence. In 2018, Wilson was fined £400 and banned from keeping birds of prey for ten years for failing to ensure the welfare of the eagle owl.

After an investigation which involved experts from the Scottish SPCA’s special investigation unit (SIU), RSPB and Police Scotland, Wilson was found to have used techniques including illegally set snares and unlawful items such as banned pesticides and gin traps to trap and kill wildlife.

A land inspection also found ‘stink pits’, where dead animal carcasses are left to attract other wildlife. These ‘stink pits’ were surrounded by illegally set snares. Animal remains, including mammal skulls, were recovered.

investigators believe Wilson slaughtered thousands more animals.

One source claimed he was hell-bent on killing “everything that moved” except game birds on the estate that were being bred to be shot by wealthy clients.

One kill list found in Wilson’s home catalogued 1,071 dead animals – including cats, foxes, hedgehogs and stoats.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species

Sheriff Peter Paterson said the offences merited a jail term but he felt he was unable to impose one due to guidelines against short-term sentences.

“The sentencing options open to me at the moment do not reflect society’s views,” he added.

The court was told Wilson had pledged to no longer work as a gamekeeper and was now employed cutting trees.

Police welcomed the sentencing at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at the end of what they called a “complex inquiry” which had been a “large-scale” investigation.

“The illegal killing of birds of prey and protected species cannot, and will not, be tolerated, nor will the inhumane use of illegal traps and pesticides,” said Det Con Andy Loughlin.

An undercover Scottish SPCA investigator described it as a “despicable case of serious and systematic crimes to indiscriminately remove wildlife from an estate”.

“The sheer volume of dead wildlife discovered is truly shocking,” the investigator added.

“We will never know the total number of animals which perished due to Mr Wilson, though had it not been for the robust intervention of Police Scotland, the Scottish SPCA and our other partner agencies, many more would have suffered and perished.”

Sara Shaw, head of the Crown Office’s wildlife and environmental crime unit, said Wilson’s actions amounted to a “campaign of deliberate criminality”.

Duncan Orr-Ewing of RSPB Scotland called it an “absolutely appalling incident involving the illegal killing of a range of protected wildlife.”

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture wildlife forensic scientist Dr Lucy Webster said the investigation had been an “excellent example” of partnership working to “bring a prolific wildlife criminal to justice”.

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports, described it as “one of the worst wildlife crime incidents in recent years”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association said Wilson’s actions were “unacceptable” and “entirely out of step” with conduct it expected from its members.

He said Wilson’s SGA membership would be terminated immediately.

Sentencing: ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and given a restriction of liberty order.

Scottish SPCA
BBC News
Daily Record

Gravesend, Kent: Julius Gadzor

 #TheList Julius Gadzor, born c.  1979, of Wellington Street, Gravesend, Kent  DA12 – trapped and kept wild birds by putting rat glue on feeders in his garden

Julius Gadzor from Gravesend is originally from Slovakia
Julius Gadzor from Gravesend is originally from Slovakia

Slovakian Gadzor admitted possessing wild birds and trapping them.

Officers from the Rural Task Force for Kent joined forced with the RSPCA on Thursday, June 14, 2018, to conduct a search of Gadzor’s home following a tip off they received from the RSPB.

A number of caged wild birds were seized as well as rat glue and other bird trapping equipment.

Some of the cages in which Julius Gadzor kept the wild birds he'd trapped

Gadzor was interviewed four days later where he admitted that he was trying to catch them illegally in his garden.

Sergeant Darren Walshaw, who co-ordinated the search, said: “This is an excellent example of partnership working. The intelligence received from the RSPB allowed us to gain enough information to request a search warrant and the case built by the RSPCA resulted in the man having to admit his guilt.

“Bird trapping is not only illegal, it is incredibly cruel. We are committed to working with our partner agencies to put these criminals, who illegally trap birds for their own financial gain, before the court.”

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “To take a wild bird from its natural habitat and shut it inside a tiny cage is so cruel. They suffer greatly in captivity, are not used to being in cages and, sadly, often die.

“All wild birds in England and Wales, their nests and their eggs are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and actions may only be taken under specific licences.’

“It is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to trap wild birds.”

Sentencing:
28-day curfew; total of £385 costs and charges. 

Metro
KentOnline

Grimsby/Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire: Liam Ardito, Gary Cannon and Mark Smith

#TheList Liam Patrick Ardito, born 28/11/1979, of 4 Westwood Road, Healing, Grimsby DN41 7SA, Gary Lee Cannon, born 12/03/1985, of 2 Davenport Drive, Cleethorpes DN35 9JT, and Mark Wesley Smith, born 05/11/1959, of 16 Broadway, Little Coates, Grimsby DN34 5RN – set dogs on foxes and a badger and watched them being savaged to death

Wildlife criminals from Grimsby/Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire Gary Cannon, Liam Ardito and Mark Smith
L-R Gary Cannon, Liam Ardito, Mark Smith

The odious trio’s sickening activities were uncovered during an early-morning RSPCA raid on Smith’s home in Broadway, as other officers conducted a simultaneous operation in Newbury Avenue, where Ardito was living at the time.

Gary Cannon caught on camera with a brutalised fox
Gary Cannon caught on camera enjoying his sick hobby

Items removed from Smith’s property included an air rifle, a wild bird trap and a terrier-cross dog. Birds of prey, ferrets and dogs were being kept in the back garden of the property which was fitted with seven security cameras.

Gary Cannon and Mark Smith drag a screaming fox from her den before throwing her to a pack of dogs to be savaged to death
Gary Cannon and Mark Smith drag a screaming fox from her den before throwing her to a pack of dogs to be savaged to death

Ardito, Cannon and Smith carried out the sickening attacks – some of which they recorded on video – between April 2010 and August 2012.

Smith had thousands of images of dogs attacking animals on his computer, and memory sticks found in his home.

Twisted Mark Smith with a helpless fox
Twisted Mark Smith with a helpless victim

The men’s lawyer Clive Rees of Clive Rees & Associates admitted there was “no justification” for his client’s actions. He added the best he could say for his clients was they had been winding down their activities, saying they believed it was “getting too hot and too heavy.”

Nigel Burn, prosecuting for the RSPCA, described their behaviour as “intentionally cruel”, telling the court, it amounted to “torture”.

The men's dogs suffered a catalogue of facial injuries
The men’s dogs suffered a catalogue of facial injuries

Liam Ardito admitted the following charges:

  • Causing unnecessary suffering to dog by causing it to fight with another animal
  • Jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Causing an animal fight between a dog and a fox
  • Jointly with Gary Cannon causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Causing an animal fight between a dog and a badger
  • Causing unnecessary mental suffering to a fox by caging it
  • Jointly with Gary Cannon causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Jointly with Gary Cannon causing unnecessary suffering to fox by causing it to be attacked by two dogs
  • Jointly with Mark Smith causing an animal fight between two dogs and another animal
  • Jointly with Mark Smith causing unnecessary suffering to a black and tan terrier by making it fight with another animal
  • Jointly with Mark Smith, taking wild birds, namely sparrowhawks
  • Keeping premises for use in animal fighting

Gary Cannon admitted the following charges:

  • Jointly with Liam Ardito causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Jointly with Liam Ardito causing an animal fight between a dog and a badger
  • Jointly with Liam Ardito causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by dog
  • Jointly with Liam Ardito causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by two dogs
  • Jointly with Mark Smith causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog

Mark Smith admitted the following charges:

  • Being present at an animal fight between a fox and a dog
  • Aiding and abetting Liam Ardito in causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Two counts of aiding and abetting Liam Ardito and Gary Cannon in causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Being present at a fight between a dog and a badger
  • Being found, in Broadway, in possession of a trap for the trapping of wild birds
  • Aiding and abetting Liam Ardito and Gary Cannon in causing unnecessary suffering to two terrier dogs by causing them to fight with a fox
  • Aiding and abetting an unknown person to cause unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • Together with Liam Ardito, at Littlecoates Road, causing an animal fight between two dogs and an unknown animal
  • Together with Gary Cannon, causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by causing it to be attacked by a dog
  • With Liam Ardito, causing unnecessary suffering to a black and tan terrier by causing it to fight with an unknown animal
  • Possessing a wild bird, namely a curlew
  • Possessing a wild bird, namely a rook

Sentencing: four-month custodial sentence for each count to run concurrently. Ardito and Smith were banned from keeping dogs and birds for at least 10 years and Cannon from keeping dogs for at least 10 years (expires March 2023).

North West Hunt Saboteurs

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After Ardito, Cannon and Smith were sentenced, the RSPCA released a series of photographs of men believed to be associates of the trio. It is unknown whether any of them were ever traced or prosecuted.

Unidentified associates of Ardito, Cannon and Smith

Source: North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

Bridgwater, Somerset: Robert John Dean

#TheList bird trapper Robert John Dean, born c. 1951, of 9 Petrel Close, Bridgwater TA6 4ET

Dean was convicted of unnecessary suffering to a protected animal; possession of live wild birds; attempting to take a wild bird.

24-month conditional discharge, £750 costs.

Bridgwater Mercury