Vogelbescherming Vlaanderen

12,000 euro fine for poisoning a buzzard

A former rural constable is going to have to check on his savings after a West Flemish court meted out a 12,000 euro fine after he was convicted of poisoning a buzzard.

The buzzard is a protected bird of prey that plays an important role in the eco system.  But not everybody is enamoured of this bird.  Hunters in particular dislike buzzards because they hunt the same animals they do e.g. rabbits!

The former rural constable, who is now 73 years old and hails from Veurne, denies any involvement in the bird’s death in a hunting area, but poison that was found in the buzzard’s stomach has also been recovered from the boot of the pensioner’s car. The poison was of a particularly strong variety often employed to kill foxes and birds of prey.

Jan Rodts of the Bird Protection Society Flanders believes the judge probably took the nature of the poison used into account when deciding the punishment.  “This poison is not discriminatory.  If it’s used to kill a fox, protected species of scavengers can also be killed.  It’s an illegal substance.”

The 73-year-old will also have to pay 600 euros compensation to the Bird Protection Society and fund a repair programme for buzzards.

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