London man convicted of trapping songbirds in East London06/12/2012 11:56:21 Birdwatchers help fight against wildlife crime
December 2012. Keen-eyed birdwatchers and the London Wildlife Trust acted promptly to help catch a man from Beckton, east London, in the act of illegally catching wild songbirds at Barking Riverside in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.
Several birdwatchers reported suspicious activity and evidence of trapping in early October to the London Wildlife Trust who reported the incident to the police. When suspects were seen by one of the birders at the same location on 24th October, the Trust were able to immediately contact the Metropolitan Police's Wildlife Crime Officer for Barking & Dagenham. The police responded immediately and were able to apprehend Peter Fayers at the site, in possession of mist nets and with several linnets and goldfinches held captive in small cages.
Fined & ASBO granted
In Britain illegal songbird trapping is mainly associated with Victorian times. Nowadays, bird catching in this country is usually carried out legally by licensed ringers, who have been trained to capture and release birds for scientific purposes without causing them any harm.
A spokesperson for the Trust said: "It is sad that illegal songbird trapping is still occurring in London in the twenty-first century, and distressing to see the size of the cages that the birds were being held in. However, it is pleasing to see how quickly the police responded to apprehend the culprit and ensure that there was a happier ending to this particular story."