During house searches in Houthulst, Westrozebeke and Langemark, several traps, nets, forbidden weapons and dozens of illegally caught finches were seized. That happened in a poaching investigation. Three men, who together form a kind of poaching club, are suspected of illegal bird catching.
The Nature Inspectorate for Nature and Forest has been conducting research for months on suspicions about poaching and on Monday 16-12-2019 held simultaneous house search in the three men’s homes. This happened with the assistance of the police.
According to Commissioner Geert Provoost of the police, illegal hunting rifles and silencers prohibited by law, were found. The three poachers also had a collection of catch cages and nets in their possession. Among other things, they caught finches, because dozens of non-ringed finches were seized during the house searches.
To prevent illegal catches, finches must be registered by law and ringed. But the three of them did that themselves again, to then sell the birds in the circuit of owners who take part in Bird singing contests .
The Nature and Forest Agency inspectors also seized all kinds attributes to put fake or false rings on the birs legs.
The three risk an administrative fine for violations of environmental legislation and criminal prosecution for illegal weapons.
- Date of seizure: December 16, 2019
- Numbers of seized birds: 36
- Country: Belgium
- Species: Finches