News

Prison sentence for killing eagles

By Country News

A Victorian man has been fined $2500 and will spend two weeks behind bars after being found guilty of destroying 420 wedge-tailed eagles.

The man had pleaded guilty to the destruction of protected wildlife between October 2016 and February 2018.

His sentence last week in Sale Magistrates’ Court makes him the first person to be jailed for destroying protected wildlife in Victoria.

A report for DELWP estimated it would take two-and-a-half years before breeding recovered.

DELWP’s investigations manager Iain Bruce said this was the first custodial sentence for the destruction of wildlife in Victoria.

‘‘It’s a significant statement to make by the courts, that this is a very, very serious matter and this is how it will be dealt with,’’ Mr Bruce said.

In May last year, investigators searched properties at Tubbut and found 90 eagle carcases, skulls, traps, decomposing sheep carcases and chemicals. More carcases were found later.

The defendant told authorities he estimated he had killed up to 420 wedge-tailed eagles during his employment on the Tubbut farm.