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Moorland Association wildlife crime case statement

28th August 2018

Following the conviction of a gamekeeper today at Lancaster Magistrates Court, the Moorland Association and Whernside Estate have issued the following statements.

A spokesman for Whernside Estate said: “The estate was dismayed to learn of the fate of these owls.  It was particularly disappointing given the enormous increase in the number of all species of birds witnessed across the moor over the last few years.”

“Following the allegations of a wildlife crime having been committed, the keeper in question resigned his position several months ago and is no longer employed by the estate. The estate takes its conservation responsibilities very seriously and when it learned of these allegations took immediate measures to ensure best practice in accordance with the industry.”

Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association, said: “We unreservedly condemn this criminal behaviour. These actions have no place in modern-day moorland management and undermine the great work that is done by gamekeepers day in, day out on moors across the country.”

“The estate in question is, and remains, a member of the Moorland Association. When allegations of wildlife crime first emerge, we instigate our disciplinary procedure to establish whether our member has taken all appropriate measures to ensure that its staff uphold the law and embrace best practice. In this case we are satisfied that the estate has acted properly and had made it perfectly clear to the member of staff in his contract of employment, and in further written correspondence, that he should abide by the law at all times. He was also requested to attend refresher training in line with good practice. The member of staff in question has not been in the estate’s employment for a number of months.”

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Did You Know?

75% of of the world’s remaining heather moorland is found in Britain – but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.

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