I was sent this press release from a friend who works at the Shooting Times as they know I stalk in Sussex. So glad to see the police allocating a proper resource to dealing with poaching.
This can only help law abiding stalkers and the welfare of deer which we all care about so passionately..
I thought this may be of interest to SD members.
I hope all forces are taking this stance. Lets hope the poachers get more than fines and slaps on the wrists.
SUSSEX POLICE NEWS SERVICE
Press Officer: Andy Freeman
Telephone: 01273 404173
Issue Date: 21/12/2009
Title: FIVE ARRESTED AFTER DAWN POACHING RAIDS
Sussex Police investigating a commercial deer poaching operation in the Rother district of East Sussex have made five arrests after a series of dawn raids this morning (Monday, December 21).
More than 50 officers, accompanied by colleagues from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, RSPCA, Trading Standards, Rother District Council and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, executed warrants in Bexhill, Brightling, Ninfield, Robertsbridge, Saleshurst and Broad Oak, Heathfield. They seized a large number of fireams and animal carcasses and meat, including deer and wild boar.
Five men aged 21, 47, 49, 63 and 74, were arrested under suspicion of offences under the Deer Act 1991 and are now being questioned further about firearms and wildlife offences.
Alan Roberts, from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, who attended several of the locations, said: "Commercial poaching is a serious problem on various levels including public health, where meat is introduced illegally into the system, and public safety, as many of the deer are shot at night using high powered weapons.
"There is also a significant risk to animals not killed in a clinical, professional manner and with weapons not suitable for the size of beast."
Ch Insp Heather Keating, Rother district policing commander, said: "This is not a romanticised image of the local poacher taking 'one for the pot', but a highly organised and criminal taking of wild animals for big profits. We are responding to local concerns about the scale of the problem and will continue to react to any direct reports of poaching or evidence of its taking place, such as discarded deer heads, feet and entrails."
If anyone has information about poaching, they should contact 0845 60 70 999 and if in regard to these particular incidents, quote Operation Hallend.
Incident Reference: 180:21:12:2009