Aberdeenshire Gamekeeper convicted of using live pigeon to lure raptors loses appeal.

Gamekeeper Craig Barrie has failed in a bid to keep his gamekeeper licence after he was caught illegally using a live pigeon as a decoy. Barrie has now resigned from his post as gamekeeper on the Aswanley estate.

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Recent events have demonstrated gamekeepers like Barrie are prepared to use live decoy pigions

to catch protected birds of prey in these traps.

Craig Barrie used a live pigeon as a decoy to attract other birds (raptors) on Aswanley Estate in Aberdeenshire.

The 30-year-old was fined £520 after he admitted the breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Barrie appealed the sentence, arguing that unless he was admonished or granted an absolute discharge he would lose his gamekeeper licence and be left unable to work.

Two appeal court judges have now rejected the argument but forward by Barrie.

Lord Hardie said: “He must have been aware that it was a breach of his licence to have a live pigeon in a Larsen trap as a decoy for some other species.

“If he did not know that, then it is astonishing given his 14 years as a gamekeeper and his father a gamekeeper before him.”

Barrie, of Glass, Huntly, has resigned from his job at the estate between Huntly and Dufftown but the post had been kept open for him in case the appeal was successful.

Defence QC Paul McBride told the court that crows, hooded crows and magpies could be used as decoys, but not pigeons.

4 comments to Aberdeenshire Gamekeeper convicted of using live pigeon to lure raptors loses appeal.

  • Alastair Henderson

    Is this the first conviction in Scotland since the Act introducing the law on vicarious liability? Perhaps the issue is irrelevant if the initial offence took place before the introduction of the new law?

    Editor’s comment. Alastair the new law has not been introduced in Scotland yet. We are informed it will be a further two years,

  • Gill

    I’m sorry, am I being thick? You can’t use a pigeon to capture protected birds of pray in these disgusting traps but you can use corvids?

    Editor’s comment. Hi Gill the point everyone is trying to make here is that there are far too many individuals around who are prepared to break the laws of the UK by placing a live pigeon into these traps just to capture raptors. Glenn Brown was one of them. Does this help?

  • John Miles

    The law allows crows and magpies to be used in these cages [Larson trap]to tempt territorial crows and magpies to try and drive the caged bird away but they end up being trapped themselves in the trap. These traps are moved around the shooting estate until all birds are removed. A crow trap is normally a solid structure which can not be moved. Dead meat is used to draw birds into the cage. When crows and magpies are trapped in both these cages it is not unusual for a bird of prey to try and capture easy prey and again gets stuck in the traps. A pigeon therefore should not be in any of these traps and is only placed there to try and capture specially Sparrowhawk and Goshawk.

  • che

    What procedure do we follow if a Bird of Prey is trapped in a larson trap?

    Editor’s comment. Any bird trapped can NOT be relocated, it must be released from the trap asap