Man arrested over endangered birds theft


A 66-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the theft and sales of endangered birds of prey.

Police, in conjunction with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) arrested the man in Staunton yesterday.

Officers carried out a search warrant at a house in the village, acting on intelligence about the theft and sale of endangered birds.

During the operation, computer equipment and documentation was seized.

The man, described as local, was arrested on suspicion of offences in relation to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (enforcement) regulations 1997, theft and attempted fraud.

He was bailed to attend Gloucester Police Station on October 24, pending further inquiries.

PC Jon Palfrey, Force Rural and Environmental Crime Officer, said: “I hope today’s operation shows how determined we are to clamp down on wildlife crime.

“The protection of endangered species and ensuring no one profits from their illegal sale is crucial to the survival of many rare animals and plants.

“As a rural force we particularly understand these issues and will take strong action, with our partners, where evidence of wrongdoing is uncovered.”

Andy McWilliam, Investigative Support Officer for NWCU, said: “Dealing with the illegal trade in endangered animals is a national wildlife crime priority. We are determined to work with our partner agencies to bring offenders before the courts.”

Pete Barratt, of AHVLA, said: “AHVLA fully support the action taken by Gloucestershire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit to tackle the suspected illegal trade in endangered species.”


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