A farmer has appeared in court in connection with the poisoning of protected birds in Wicklow.
On Monday, July 11th, 2022, Christopher Thomas Noel Doyle aka Noel Doyle Senior, a farmer with an address at Crehelp, Co. Wicklow, came before Carlow District Court.
The judge charged him with a breach of Regulation 4(1)(i) contrary to Regulation 4(2) of the Birds and Natural Habitats (Restrictions on the Use of Poisoned Bait) Regulations 2010.
The case was prosecuted by Mr John Ryan BL and Alan Millard, State Solicitor for Co. Carlow and Mr. Doyle pleaded guilty to the offence.
The court heard that a National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) conservation ranger discovered a dead Buzzard on lands at Athgreany, Co. Wicklow.
After further investigation, the ranger found a second dead Buzzard, a dead Raven and a sheep carcass placed near a fox den.
Post-mortems from the Department of Agriculture, Dublin Regional Veterinary Laboratory, and “extensive” testing by the state laboratory, found that the birds died due to “high” levels of poison (carbofuran) in their systems.
The court heard that sheep were cut open and the wound was laced with “large” amounts of the “extremely toxic” carbofuran.
In his evidence, the conservation ranger stated that poison levels were “extremely” hazardous to all forms of life.
“It was very lucky that no humans were poisoned. It was likely that other wild animals scavenged the carcasses, suffered, and died from poisoning but were never found.”
Judge Marie Keane, in her summation, commented that there was an “astonishing amount of poison” used.
She viewed this as a “serious crime” and “a deliberate enterprise” to try to persecute the local wildlife.
Furthermore, Judge Keane said that she would not be imposing a custodial sentence due to Mr. Doyle’s age.
However, she issued a fine of €500 and €1,500 expenses with four months to pay.
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