A farmer with an address in Crehelp near Dunlavin has been fined €500 and paid a total of €1,500 in costs in Carlow District Court after two poisoned buzzards were discovered.
Christopher Thomas Noel Doyle, aka Noel Doyle Senior, appeared Monday in Carlow District Court where he was charged with breaching Regulation 4(1)(i), contrary to Regulation 4(2) of the Birds and Natural Habitats (Restrictions on the Use of Poisoned Bait) Regulations 2010.
The case was being prosecuted by Mr John Ryan BL and Alan Millard, Attorney for Co Carlow.
Mr Doyle pleaded guilty to the offence.
The court heard a National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) conservation ranger discovered a dead buzzard on land in Athgreany. After further investigation, the ranger also found a second dead buzzard, along with a dead raven and a sheep carcass placed near a fox den.
The Department of Agriculture Dublin Regional Veterinary Laboratory carried out a post mortem along with extensive testing by the state laboratory which revealed the birds had died due to high levels of toxin (carbofuran) in their systems.
The sheep had been cut open and large amounts of the highly toxic carbofuran had been spiked.
In his testimony in court, The Conservation Ranger stated that the venom levels were extremely dangerous for all life forms and that it was fortunate that no people were accidentally poisoned. He also said it was likely other wild animals ate the carcasses, suffered from poisoning and died, but had never been found.
Judge Marie Keane commented in her summary that an “astonishing amount of poison” was used in what she saw as a “serious crime” and a “premeditated enterprise” to try to target local wildlife.
Judge Keane told her that because of Mr Doyle’s age she would not impose a sentence of imprisonment but imposed a fine of €500 and €1,500 in expenses with four months’ notice.
Welcoming the conviction, Minister Malcolm Noonan said: “I warmly welcome this conviction for what is a particularly heinous and disturbing wildlife crime.
“I want to recognize the great effort and dedication of the NPWS staff involved in bringing the indictment, and indeed the efforts of the staff across the country who successfully completed 21 trials in 2021 and 19 more in 2022 and progress is currently being made 49.
“I want to remind everyone that the NPWS has more rangers than ever and has never been more — or more effectively — focused on wildlife crime.”
https://www.independent.ie/regionals/wicklow/news/wicklow-farmer-convicted-and-fined-following-the-poisoning-of-protected-birds-41836736.html Wicklow farmer convicted and fined after poisoning protected birds