Gamekeeper Caught Trapping Birds of Prey on Shropshire Pheasant Shoot

buzzard featured

A gamekeeper has been caught trapping birds of prey on a pheasant shoot in Shropshire. Two traps were found in mid-September in woodland near the village of Chelmarsh, just south of Bridgnorth.

Footage passed to the HSA shows two homemade wooden traps, both baited with dead pheasants and located inside a pheasant release pen. Shockingly, a buzzard was found trapped inside one of them, but luckily was released to freedom before the gamekeeper arrived.

buzzard trap

The gamekeeper is then filmed entering the pen and checking on the traps. However, clearly noticing that his illegal activities have been found out, he quickly moves the traps and brushes the ground in a poor attempt to hide evidence.

gamekeeper checking traps

The site was also littered with Fenn traps, snares and Larsen traps.

Bird of prey persecution goes hand in glove with the persecution of ‘gamebirds’. Indeed, 67% of raptor crime convictions since 1990 were gamekeepers.

Earlier this year, the HSA revealed that a staggering 24 million pheasants and partridges were imported to the UK in 2020, making up around half of all the birds released to be shot. Not only do these factory farmed birds suffer immensely, but so do the many other species targeted by the shooting industry including foxes, stoats, weasels, corvids and birds of prey.

The spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, Lee Moon, said:

“Gamekeepers aim to create a wasteland where nothing else lives apart from the birds they breed to be shot. Any animal that may predate on gamebirds is considered fair game to be trapped and killed, whether it’s legal to or not.

The hideous badger cull has led to the death of thousands of innocent lives but one of the very few benefits is that more compassionate people are now out in the countryside exposing the vile practices that appear commonplace. As more and more of these cruel acts are exposed then ordinary people turn against shooting, a cruel sport that leads to suffering and death for millions of animals and birds every year.”

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