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London man sentenced for keeping wild goldfinches
"The cages were cramped and dirty, and the birds were very distressed being confined."

Five caged birds spotted at allotment

A man has been handed a suspended sentence for illegally keeping five wild-caught goldfinches at a London allotment.

Metropolitan Police contacted the RSPCA after they received a report about the birds being kept at the allotments in Larmans Road, Enfield.

One of the charity’s inspectors, who cannot be named as he works undercover, said: “He had two decoy birds set up outside, one on the ground and one in the tree - both in tiny cages. The cages were cramped and dirty, and the birds were very distressed being confined.

“The set-up looked like it had been there for some time, but a lot of thought had gone into it. The trap was set with a piece of string running to behind a shed so he could lay in wait to capture unsuspecting birds.”

Mazaffer Yildiz-Coban, 57, of Warwick Road, Enfield, appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (6 September), according the RSPCA. He pleaded guilty to three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Wildlife & Countryside Act - possession of live wild birds, possessing a clap net capable of being used for the taking of wild birds, and failing to meet the welfare needs of wild birds.

Yildiz-Coban was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay £515 in costs and fines. He was also banned form keeping animals for life.

All five goldfinches have been released back into the wild.

Image © RSPCA

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Sale of microbeads now banned

News Story 1
 The sale of products containing microbeads is now banned across England and Scotland, Defra has confirmed.

As part of government efforts to prevent these plastics ending up in the marine environment, retailers can no longer sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. These tiny plastics were often added to products including face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just a single shower is thought to send 100,000 of these beads down the drain and into the ocean, where it can cause serious harm to marine life. A ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads previously came into force in January this year. 

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George Eustice announces funding for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea

Farming minister George Eustice has announced a 5.7million funding package to help farmers tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The funding will be available in England for three years through the Rural Development Programme and farmers will be able to apply for one-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner.

The project will recruit local vets who will then work with keepers of breeding cattle to tackle BVD on their farms.