Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Man fined for trapping and keeping wild birds
RSPCA inspectors and police found 13 live goldfinches kept in tiny cages, as well as one siskin and a dead goldfinch.

Fifteen birds found in cramped cages 

A man has been fined for illegally trapping and keeping wild birds after 15 birds were found at his home in Kent, along with various tools to suggest he was trapping the birds himself.

Kent Police officers and RSPCA inspectors visited the home of Frantisek Fercak, 40, at Albion Terrace, Gravesend, on 8 September 2017. They found 13 live goldfinches kept in tiny cages, as well as one siskin and a dead goldfinch.

“These wild birds can’t cope in captivity and become very distressed being shut in cages,” said RSPCA inspector Cliff Harrison, who led the investigation into Mr Fercak. “They don’t understand the concept of being confined and, tragically, they often die.”

The surviving birds were removed and later released back into the wild.

Inspectors also found tools, including a bird feeder coated in glue, at Mr Fercak’s home.

“A bird feeder in the garden as well as things attached to the seed holders were covered in a glue-like substance,” inspector Harrison added. “This is a tactic we’ve seen before by bird trappers who are trying to attract the birds to food and then capture them.”

According to inspector Harrison, Mr Fercak claimed the birds were his and had been brought to the UK from his native country, Czech Republic.

There was also an open tube of rodent glue nearby. Mr Harrison said the RSPCA “has real concerns” about such products  “as they can be extremely painful and distressing for animals who get stuck in them, and can cause them to die slow, agonising deaths”.

Mr Fercak appeared at Chatham Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 11 December, where he pleaded guilty to five offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, according to the RSPCA. He was fined a total of £500 plus £300 court costs and a £50 victim surcharge. 

Image courtesy of the RSPCA

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Newborn okapi named after Meghan Markle

News Story 1
 An endangered okapi recently born at London Zoo has been named Meghan - after Prince Harry’s fiancé Meghan Markle - in celebration of the upcoming royal wedding. Okapis are classed as endangered in the wild, having suffered ongoing declines since 1995. Zookeeper Gemma Metcalf said: “We’re very pleased with how mother and baby are doing. Oni is being very attentive, making sure she regularly licks her clean and keeping a watchful eye over Meghan as she sleeps.” Image © ZSL London Zoo  

News Shorts
Ten new cases of Alabama rot confirmed

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists has confirmed 10 new cases of Alabama rot, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 122.

In a Facebook post, the referral centre said the cases were from County Durham, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Sussex, West Somerset, Devon, and Powys.

Pet owners are urged to remain vigilant and seek advice from their vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions/sores.