Eighty-seven-year old pig farmer, John Edwards was fined a record £13,500 by Thames magistrates in May last year.

Edwards’ land was found to be littered with dead animals, poisoned bait and illegal traps. His actions had led to the deaths of several rare red kites. Charges were brought under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Police found the bodies of three red kites in April last year, along with banned chemicals, poised carcasses of foxes, rabbits, crows and pheasants (used as bait) 50 gin traps, 9 pole traps and dozens of syringes, several filled with deadly poison.

Edwards, who admitted to not liking red kites, believed they hunted for prey on his land despite the fact that red kites mainly feed on carrion.

The prosecution said: ‘Over the decades much has changed in the countryside. When public opinion and the law has moved on, Mr Edwards has remained rooted in the past… The building in which the officers found these cruel items was dedicated to the killing of creatures that Mr Edwards simply did not like.’

Source: League Against Cruel Sports

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