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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 07:15   #1
bristolbirder
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Help required. Neighbour has shot Collared Dove in my garden.

Yesterday, my neighbour shot a Collared Dove in my Cherry tree with an air rifle. Can anyone tell me please what laws have been broken?

I have contacted the police and they are due to visit me today.

The Collared Dove has a small wound in the centre of its back but, as I write, is stiill alive in a box in my garage. I tried to release it this morning but it seems unable to fly.

Thanks.

Steve
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 07:22   #2
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This site is good

http://www.naturenet.net/law/birds.html
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 07:25   #3
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I don't think it's illegal to shoot collared doves, but it's bloody antisocial to shoot them in a neighbour's garden. if the police don't help speak to your local paper and wildlife group.
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 07:29   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bristolbirder View Post
Yesterday, my neighbour shot a Collared Dove in my Cherry tree with an air rifle. Can anyone tell me please what laws have been broken?

I have contacted the police and they are due to visit me today.

The Collared Dove has a small wound in the centre of its back but, as I write, is stiill alive in a box in my garage. I tried to release it this morning but it seems unable to fly.

Thanks.

Steve
It sounds prety serious to me Steve.

"and also against the law on the protection of birds by killing, or even trying to kill, a wild bird when he is not an authorised person."
http://f4bscale.worldonline.co.uk/gunlaw.htm

"no pellet may go outside of the boundaries of the private land where the shooting is taking place"

"You cannot shoot your airgun within 15 meters of a public highway if doing so would cause a nuisance or indanger the public. It is now also an offence if any projectile leaves the boundries of the land where you have permission to shoot."

"It is a serious offence to kill or injure any bird or protected animal with an airgun unless you are a person 'authorised' under the wildlife and countryside act 1981."

http://www.youngmans.com/acatalog/law.html

If it was someone under 14, an adult should be supervising and would carry the responsibility.
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 08:21   #5
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bristolbirder - you need to be clear about where the bird was shot. If it was shot whilst on your land, an offence was comitted. If it was shot on their land, and subsequently flew onto your land, no offence was comitted. The key definition is that of an authorised person. I am presuming that they are authorised to shoot on their land, but not on yours.
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 08:41   #6
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Thank you to all those who have replied so far and for the information sent. It is all very useful.

I should make it clear that we are talking about small suburban gardens on a housing estate here and that the bird was in my tree, in my garden, when hit.

It seems at this stage that several laws have been broken.

Steve
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 08:43   #7
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Question

How can it be legal to shoot and injure a wild bird in the UK? Surely this comes under some sort of animal cruelty laws? Is there no protection for non-rare wild birds?
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 08:59   #8
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Just a word of warning - however antisocial or illegal the act enetering in to a dispute with your neighbour can have long lasting consequences.

I'm not advocating turning a blind eye, but be aware that these things can escalate very quickly and have even have to be declared if ever selling your house.
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 09:12   #9
Jos Stratford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bristolbirder View Post
I should make it clear that we are talking about small suburban gardens on a housing estate here and that the bird was in my tree, in my garden, when hit.
Absolutely the law has been broken due to reasons already given. Given that it is small suburban gardens, it might even be illegal had he shot the bird in his own garden, let alone yours (the pellet is likely to go out of the garden). The police should be called, not only because a bird was shot, but also that it is downright stupid to be shooting into other people's garden - if he had missed the bird, the pellet could easily cause injury to an unseen person further back. You have the right to not have birds shot in your garden, you have the right to not have the risk of a stray pellet hitting you in the eye, etc. Bird's welfare is important, but I would try not to release it until after the police have seen it.
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Last edited by Jos Stratford : Friday 23rd November 2007 at 09:39.
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 09:26   #10
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Originally Posted by scary-canary View Post
I don't think it's illegal to shoot collared doves
It's true that Collared Dove is on the list of species covered by a general licence that allows them to be killed, but only for the following reasons: (i) preventing the spread of disease; (ii) preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters; and (iii) for the purposes of preserving public health or public safety. Shooting can only be carried out with the permission of the landowner.

In the situation described it does sound that the Wildlife and Countryside Act has been contravened.

Last edited by Capercaillie71 : Friday 23rd November 2007 at 09:33.
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 09:40   #11
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Originally Posted by Rob Smallwood View Post
entering in to a dispute with your neighbour can have long lasting consequences.
A neighbour shooting a bird in my garden would already mean there are going to be long lasting consequences!
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 12:19   #12
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Originally Posted by Jos Stratford View Post
A neighbor shooting a bird in my garden would already mean there are going to be long lasting consequences!
Well said!

If it was my garden, I think it would now be the neighbor who would be worrying.
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Old Friday 23rd November 2007, 15:06   #13
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bristolbirder - you need to be clear about where the bird was shot. If it was shot whilst on your land, an offence was comitted. If it was shot on their land, and subsequently flew onto your land, no offence was comitted. The key definition is that of an authorised person. I am presuming that they are authorised to shoot on their land, but not on yours.
Absolutly correct, also I do not think a collard dove is a protected bird,but classed as a pest along with woodpigeon sinse it is not an indigenous species. Not condoning the event just stating facts.
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Old Saturday 24th November 2007, 14:29   #14
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You are allowed to take lapwing eggs with a licence, before the 15th of April, -that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard! A bird that is in steep decline-it's terrible.
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Old Saturday 24th November 2007, 16:52   #15
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Originally Posted by Dougie Preston View Post
Well said!

If it was my garden, I think it would now be the neighbor who would be worrying.

It might be too late to mend the damage in your relationship with your neighbour, but a serious dispute with your neighbour could knock thousands off the value of your house.

This will matter to some people, depending on your circumstances.
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Old Saturday 24th November 2007, 20:02   #16
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You are allowed to take lapwing eggs with a licence, before the 15th of April, -that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard! A bird that is in steep decline-it's terrible.
Thats a very old law relating to human consumption and no organization in todays climate is going to issue a licence to collect Lapwing Eggs.
With regards to the Collared Dove, did you see the man shoot it? I would be wanting to know that as my first question to you. It would be all about proving it in court, your word against his etc. Let us know how you got on with the Police.
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Old Saturday 24th November 2007, 20:06   #17
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Absolutly correct, also I do not think a collard dove is a protected bird,but classed as a pest along with woodpigeon sinse it is not an indigenous species. Not condoning the event just stating facts.
The Collared Dove IS a protected species but may be shot as a pest species under a general licence. So as far as shooting one in yours/someones back yard with an air rifle it IS a protected species. Also what has the indigenous species got to do with it. Collared Doves came over here of their own free will and stayed to populate. Woodpigeons are only classed as a pest species in certain circumstances. They are still a wild bird in the UK and are equally protected in close season. Just stating CORRECT facts.

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Old Sunday 25th November 2007, 06:44   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conorbirda2 View Post
With regards to the Collared Dove, did you see the man shoot it? I would be wanting to know that as my first question to you. It would be all about proving it in court, your word against his etc. Let us know how you got on with the Police.
It was shot by a couple of teenagers and yes, I did witness the event. This has happened once before and again the police were contacted. Don't think any further action was taken by them and not sure if they are going to do anything about it this time either. I have had a couple of phone calls from the police asking for further details but, as yet, no visit. Whether the culprits have been visited by the police I don't know.

As for the Collared dove, remakably it's still alive and living in a box in my garage. It appears to have a broken wing but is taking seed and water. Not sure what to do now. Any suggestions?

Steve
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Old Sunday 25th November 2007, 08:08   #19
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They are still a wild bird in the UK and are equally protected in close season. Just stating CORRECT facts.
. . . except that woodpigeon and collard doves don't have a closed season, they can be shot throughout the year by those authorised to do so.

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Old Sunday 25th November 2007, 08:15   #20
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. they can be shot throughout the year by those authorised to do so.

Jonathan
It is very unlikely that two teenage boys in a suburban garden would be so authorized.

Bristol birder, police forces these days have wildlife units, probably underfunded, but you could contact them. At the very least they should pay these boys a visit.

Joanne
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Old Sunday 25th November 2007, 08:45   #21
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We had some tenants and they were shooting the squirrels with air rifles, and another tenant called the police who came out and spoke to the chaps, but they were potshotting at more than the squirrels, birds as well. Since the cops visited, they stopped. They had cans up on posts and were shooting, and you never knew when it was safe to walk round the corner of the building, you'd get a pellet!

RSPCA just told my neighbour to keep watch.
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Old Sunday 25th November 2007, 15:11   #22
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The Dove is a gonner, I'm afraid. Sounds like it has structural injuries (bones.muscle) and the pellet will still be inside. It will not fly again, and I'd take it to a vet and ask it to be put down, but keep the body as evidence (in the freezer). You could also ask the vet to give you a professional examination, just so it's bang to rights on it being shot.

Re the law, it's very clear in this case - you saw them shoot the bird, you have the evidence it was on your land (i.e. you have the bird), you'll also probably have the pellet within the bird. This is a crime if they did not have your permission, no matter what other circumstances. It is a firearms offence, and the Police should treat it as such. You should insist on them confiscating the weapon, which would probably be the best outcome and probably their duty depending on the kids' age (although they might not fancy the paperwork). If this has happened before, then you can rightly laim that a strong word isn't enough - they should take away the gun this time. Next time, they should go to court.
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Old Sunday 25th November 2007, 15:33   #23
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Re the law, it's very clear in this case - you saw them shoot the bird, you have the evidence it was on your land (i.e. you have the bird), you'll also probably have the pellet within the bird. This is a crime if they did not have your permission, no matter what other circumstances. It is a firearms offence, and the Police should treat it as such. You should insist on them confiscating the weapon, which would probably be the best outcome and probably their duty depending on the kids' age (although they might not fancy the paperwork). If this has happened before, then you can rightly laim that a strong word isn't enough - they should take away the gun this time. Next time, they should go to court.

Quite, well said on all points
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Old Monday 26th November 2007, 00:19   #24
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I am totally disgusted and amazed that people could do such things. Hopefully they will get something more than a slap on the wrist. For instance, a whole pile of community hours working in an animal shelter where they can see the effects of cruelty on various kinds of animals.
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Old Monday 26th November 2007, 08:34   #25
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For instance, a whole pile of community hours working in an animal shelter where they can see the effects of cruelty on various kinds of animals.
Thing is, Gillian, the sort of people that did this in the first place wouldn't give two hoots about what they would see, they don't care less, it is why they did it in the first place. I'd say tie them to a tree and fire a few pellets at them, preferably in their most prized parts of their anatomies. That is out of the question, obviously, but it would b****y well work.
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