In the first case of its type in England, Market Harborough farmer Ivan Peter Crane (above) has been fined £2,500 after being found guilty of trapping magpies on his land without an appropriate licence.

A Leicestershire police investigation found that Mr Crane was not eligible to act under the terms of the General Licences issued annually by Natural England (NE), because he had previously been found guilty of using a spring trap to stop raptors from feeding on his pheasants.

NE officer Paul Cantwell said: ?It is the responsibility of an individual acting under any form of licence to ensure that they comply with its conditions. Contravening the terms of a licence renders people liable to conviction for offences under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act ? which a General Licence would ordinarily protect them against.

The rest of this article appears in the 7th March issue of Shooting Times.

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