Jailing for bird deaths

Jailing for bird deaths

A 59-year-old man has been jailed for 14 days and fined $2500 with conviction following investigations earlier this year into the death of 420 wedge-tailed eagles on farmland around Tubbut.

It is the first custodial sentence for the destruction of protected wildlife in Victoria.

The eagle deaths occurred between October 1, 2016, and February this year.
The man, a New Zealand resident, was arrested, charged and bailed earlier this month. A condition of that bail was that he surrenders his passport.

He plead guilty, and was found guilty, in the Sale Magistrates Court on Monday.

The charges followed the discovery of dead wedge-tailed eagles, and other protected species of birds, on a Tubbut property in May this year. Assistance was sought at the time by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) authorised officers, in conjunction with other agencies, in their investigation.

Wedge-tailed eagles are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and deliberately killing these birds carries a maximum penalty of $7928.50,  and or up to six months imprisonment, and an additional penalty of $792.85 for each bird destroyed.

While the Snowy River Mail made enquiries, as the matter is subject to an ongoing investigation and potentially subject to further legal proceedings a DELWP spokesperson said it would be inappropriate for DELWP to comment on the outcome of this case.