Court sentences illegal owl trader

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Owl

An illegal owl trader has been sentenced to serve a 12-month community order with 80 hours unpaid work, pay £270 costs and for all six owls to be forfeited at Walsall Magistrates Court.

Lee Wellings, 45, of Scholars Walk, Walsall was found to have unlawfully bred protected species of birds for over four years.

Investigations began in December 2018 in which paperwork from the address of Lee Wellings was recovered.

Six owls recovered

Police enquiries revealed that three of the owls were being kept illegally and Wellings had repeatedly submitted false permit applications for the others.

These permits are a legal requirement in order to own, breed and sell protected birds.

Police executed a search warrant in partnership with the National Wildlife Crime Unit recovering six owls all of which are now in the process of being permanently rehomed.

PC Richard Collins, from Walsall Police said:

“Wellings did this for his own financial gain but, working in partnership with the National Wildlife Crime Unit, we were able to stop his illegal practices. To report offences via 101.”

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