DEAD foxes and a badger were found in illegal snares set by a Moray gamekeeper who was convicted at Elgin Sheriff Court.
Brian Petrie intended to capture the animals and cause serious injury or kill them, according to Scottish SSPCA officials.
Petrie, 66, of Woodhead, Dunphail, pled guilty to three charges including setting snares likely to cause unnecessary suffering by partially or wholly suspending animals, setting snares in a manner likely to be dragged and failing to release or remove an animal from a snare.
Inspectors from the Scottish SPCA’s Special Investigations Unit found a badger and several foxes dead in Petrie’s snares which had been set around a number of middens constructed of trees and baited with animal carcasses.
He was fined a total of £1,500 at the court on Tuesday (May 7) after admitting the offences in contravention to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Section 11.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said that as Petrie knew the rules as he was a gamekeeper with over fifty years experience who had sat his snaring course one year prior to the offences taking place.
“As he was well aware of the regulations regarding snaring it is our opinion that his intention was to capture, cause serious injury and kill animals,” said Mr Flynn.
“The snares were set in an area inhabited by sensitive native species such as the Scottish wildcat, pine marten, deer, otter and badger so there was a high risk of this type of animal being caught, maimed and killed and indeed one badger was found dead at the scene.
“This case highlights, yet again, that snaring is cruel, indiscriminate and unnecessary and the only way to stop animals from suffering in snares is an outright ban.”