By Lauren Crooks, Deadline Press and Picture Agency
A MAN who was caught red-handed as he lured rare birds into a trap has been banned from keeping birds.
William White, 60, was using glue-laced sticks, known as lime sticks, to prevent the birds flying off when they landed. He was nabbed by undercover SSPCA officers after a member of the public tipped them off about his cruel hobby.
When they searched his car, he had seven Linnets in a cloth sack, four of which had died of shock, along with a number of lime sticks and a pot of glue.
White was also in possession of a number of birds at his home, four of which were birds he had taken from the wild. Yesterday, at Haddington Sheriff Court, White pleaded guilty to the inhumane trapping of the red-listed birds.
Sheriff Peter Gillam banned White from keeping birds for five years and fined him £750.
The SSPCA have welcomed the sentence and have highlighted the value of intelligence gathered from the public. Doreen Graham, spokeswoman for the Scottish SPCA, said: “The society is delighted at the sentencing as it reflects the seriousness of the crime. Finch trapping subjects the birds to high levels of stress, which is many cases kills them.
“It was one telephone call from members of the public that made it possible to build a case against William White, and we would ask members of the public with information regarding any wildlife crime to contact the SSPCA or the police.
“The public are the eyes and ears of animal welfare and their help is essential to tackling all wildlife crime, including badger baiting, illegal trapping and poisoning birds of prey and other wild life.”