Shropshire

William McKenzie convicted of kicking and hitting birds of prey

A 68-year-old man has been banned for life from keeping animals after being convicted of cruelty to birds of prey he kept at his home.

William McKenzie, from Boscobel Road, Shrewsbury, kicked and hit a snowy owl and barn owl and used a lawnmower next to tethered birds.

He claimed to be running a rescue charity, known as Mac's Owls, and took the birds to events, the RSPCA said.

He had denied 14 offences at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court.

McKenzie was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, received a curfew order of six months, and was ordered to pay £500 costs.

The RSPCA said officers were alerted by concerned neighbours who had seen McKenzie hit and shout at the birds in his back garden.

In October last year the police and RSPCA officers attended his home and removed all 26 of the birds in his possession - 19 owls, five hawks, a peregrine falcon and a kestrel.

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