Gamekeeper poisoned birds of prey
A gamekeeper has admitted poisoning four birds of prey while employed at a farm two years ago, the Crown Office has said.
David Whitefield, 45, was working as the sole gamekeeper at Culter Allers Farm in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, when he fatally poisoned four buzzards with chloralose baits between March 5 and November 11 2009.
At the time, Culter Allers Farm was operating as a pheasant and partridge shoot for family and private guests.
The decomposing carcasses and poison were discovered after a multi-agency operation, led by the Scottish SPCA, resulted in a search of the land and buildings.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (Copfs) said Whitefield admitted a contravention of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, at Lanark Sheriff Court.
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 protect Scotland's rich natural heritage, and this includes the wildlife that live within it."
Sentence was deferred until January 5 for background reports.
Source: Press Association