Derby

Derbyshire gamekeeper denies using 'live pigeon' trap

A gamekeeper illegally used a cage trap baited with a live pigeon to catch birds of prey, a court has heard.

Glenn Brown, 39, is alleged to have operated the trap on land owned by the National Trust in the Upper Derwent Valley between 14 April and 25 May 2010.

Chesterfield Magistrates' Court was told the trap was found by an RSPB employee on 15 April.

Mr Brown has denied the charges against him.

'Captured on tape'

The trap was designed for catching members of the corvid family such as crows, rooks and jackdaws.

Prosecutor Rod Chapman said some people were allowed to catch and kill certain species of wild birds if they were exempted by a general licence from Natural England.

Conditions of running a trap included visiting it every day and humanely killing any target bird caught, or immediately releasing any bird that was not a target species.

Mr Brown, of Derwent Valley, denies seven charges under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Animal Welfare Act 2010, including using a trap for the purpose of killing or taking wild birds.

Another four charges against him relate to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the welfare needs of a pheasant, a carrion crow and a pigeon.

Mr Chapman said the RSPB installed video cameras at the trap site in Howden Moor and captured a man on tape, who they claim is the defendant.

He said another person wearing a full face balaclava was also captured on camera visiting the trap on 23 May.

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