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Gamekeeper admits poisoning buzzards

01/12/2011 12:39:22

One of the buzzards found poisoned. Photo RSPB

Accused man is David Alexander Whitefield.

December 2011. RSPB have welcomed the conviction of a 45 year old man at Lanark Sheriff Court for poisoning 4 buzzards using the lethal, banned pesticide Alphachloralose. David Alexander Whitefield admitted killing the birds whilst employed as a gamekeeper at Culter Allers Estate in South Lanarkshire in 2009.

Commenting on the conviction RSPB Scotland Head of Investigations, Bob Eliott, said: “We’re delighted with the outcome of this case.  We now await news of the sentencing which will take place in January 2012.  We hope this will reflect the serious nature of the offences committed. 

“RSPB Scotland is working with the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAWS) which includes Scottish Government, Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) and others to bear down on the perpetrators of crimes against birds of prey. It’s high time that such illegal activity which damages Scotland’s international and domestic reputation was consigned to the history books.”

The charges relate to the poisoning of four buzzards and a crow with alphachloralose, the placing of poisoned rabbit baits, which put wildlife and people at risk, possession of two containers of alphachloralose capable of being used to commit offences, and the unsafe storage of alphachloralose, rifle ammunition and the poisonous fumigants Sodium Cyanide and Aluminium Phosphide.

Not first offence
In 2008 David Alexander Whitefield was fined £300 for the illegal use of a crow trap after hill walkers found a buzzard caught in a trap. 

Read the comments about this article and leave your own comment

dee donworth

i have yet to meet any of these bird/animal killers who can justify thier actions against OUR wildlife. apparently its called conservation?? i spend a whole lot of cash in scotland but am starting to change my mind about that beautiful place which has such ugly people in charge of the wildlife

Posted by: dee donworth | 08 Dec 2011 15:27:13


I agree with both the previous comments. Until really fierce sentences are handed out, including the employers of these criminals, the situation is not going to improve.

Posted by: Andrea Polden | 02 Dec 2011 17:11:21

Employers must be prosecuted

The poisoning and trapping and shooting will not stop until the employers are prosecuted. The penalties should become so draconian that it no longer becomes an economic proposition to shoot wildlife with anything other than a camera.

Posted by: Jack Lindsey | 02 Dec 2011 16:08:12

thugs of the countryside

Has David Whitefield been dismissed from his post? this is his second time he has been convicted how many more birds has he poisoned.
His employer should also be prosecuted.
Well done hill walkers

Posted by: stephen humphries | 02 Dec 2011 14:53:03

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