The importance of abiding by the terms of the General Licences that govern live cage trapping was highlighted last week when gamekeeper Shaun Allanson pleaded guilty at Scarborough Magistrates Court to intentionally taking a buzzard using a live pigeon in a cage trap last August.


Allanson, 37, had set letterbox traps in a pheasant release pen on the Blansby Park Estate, near Pickering, North Yorkshire. The traps and a buzzard eating a freshly killed pigeon were discovered after Natural England officer Justine Clark, who was carrying out a survey on the estate at the time, found them and alerted the police.

Allanson was sentenced last week to 120 hours’ community service with £85 costs. Tim Ryan, defending solicitor, said that the offences had cost Allanson his job and possibly also his firearms certificate. Mr Ryan told the court: “He very much regrets having committed these offences. He realises how stupid he’s been and the consequences for him, his partner and two children.”

The rest of this article appears in the 27th February issue of Shooting Times.

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