Gamekeeper admits poisoning buzzards

Four buzzards were found, along with poison, on Coulter Allers Farm (Picture by Mark Medcalf)

A GAMEKEEPER has admitted killing four birds of prey at a farm in South Lanarkshire.

David Alexander Whitefield, pled guilty at Lanark Sheriff Court to poisoning four buzzards with chloralose baits.

The offences took place at Coulter Allers Farm in Biggar between 5 March 2009 and 11 November 2009.

Whitefield was employed as the sole gamekeeper at the farm, which operated a pheasant and partridge shoot for family and private guests.

On 11 November 2009, the land and buildings were searched in a multi-agency operation, and the carcasses were found along with the poison.

Area Procurator Fiscal Tom Dysart, the COPFS lead on wildlife and environmental crime, said: “The use of poison to kill birds of prey is totally unacceptable.

“David Whitefield had a previous conviction for a similar offence and was well aware of the law and the penalties he faced for breaking it in this manner.

“COPFS will continue to take a robust approach to anyone caught acting in this way.

“It is of the utmost importance that we protectScotland’s rich natural heritage, and this includes the wildife that live within it.”