The conviction of Dean Barr, who worked on the Skibo Estate in east Sutherland, came on the same day as another Scottish estate worker pleaded guilty to the possession of a dead red kite found in his vehicle.

Northern Constabulary?s wildlife crime co-ordinator, Chief Inspector Matthew Reiss, said: ?Northern Constabulary is committed to tackling crimes against wildlife. This type of crime is treated extremely seriously.?

?We will continue to carry out these types of operations and appeal to anyone with information about wildlife crime to contact their nearest police station.?

Mr Barr was convicted after police found large quantities of Carbofuran in a locked store.

Investigations had begun after the discovery of a number of dead birds of prey on the estate, but no charges have been made in connection with these incidents.

Douglas McAdam, chief executive of the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association, said: ?Our members have widely and consistently deplored wildlife crime and are actively involved in eradicating it. We have stated repeatedly that if someone is convicted they must face the appropriate punishment by law.?

Meanwhile, James Rolfe, a gamekeeper on the Moy Estate near Tomatin, was fined £1,500 at Inverness Sheriff Court for possessing the dead red kite, which was discovered during a police wildlife crime operation.

A post mortem of the bird revealed it had broken legs and died as a result of a blow to the head.

Just a week before the incident last year, the Moy Estate?s sporting tenant Victor Beamish, and its owner Celia Mackintosh, had signed a letter to the Scottish Government condemning the killing of birds of prey.

Talk about this in the Shooting UK forums!