The RSPB Investigations Team scored another victory today as a Lincolnshire gamekeeper was convicted of killing two buzzards and possessing the banned poison Carbofuran.
Robert William Hebblewhite, 71, of Appleby, Scunthorpe, was fined £1,950 at Lincoln Magistrates Court.
The two buzzards were found dead in Sept 2011 on land at Bonsall Lane in Blyton, near Gainsborough, where he works as a gamekeeper. Toxicology tests revealed the birds had died from Carbofuran poisoning from poison-laced pheasant carcasses. The RSPB said Hebblewhite was in possession of enough Carbofuran to destroy all the raptors in Lincolnshire.
It’s not known whether Hebblewhite is a member of the National Gamekeepers Organisation. Hopefully they will put out a statement to clarify his membership status and to condemn this disgusting, persistent practice.
Congratulations to the RSPB guys for a successful prosecution. Importantly, he was convicted for actually killing the birds and not just for the lesser offence of possession of poison, which is the result we usually see. Well done indeed.
RSPB press release here