Charges were brought against the hunter who trapped raptors
In the area of the Széchenyi Zsigmond hunting association in Gerendás, staff members of MME Birdlife Hungary and investigators of the National Bureau of Investigation have found carcasses of protected birds of prey in recent years.
In order to investigate the cases, observations were made in the area with motion-sensing wildlife cameras.
Based on the recordings of the wildlife cameras, it was confirmed that the local professional hunter Imre J. László trapped protected birds of prey with live traps that are legally permitted to reduce predatory mammals. He pulled the birds out of the trap with a pre-made looped stick, by their necks, which caused unnecessary suffering and presumably permanent injuries or even death.
The suspect pulled out the birds from the trap with the stick and instead of releasing them in all recorded cases he took them away, which is an activity that requires an official permit. It cannot be ruled out that the birds died later or further illegal activity took place against them. By simply opening the trap, it would have been possible to ensure the release of the protected birds in any case, so that it would have been safe for both the birds and the operator.
Most of the trapped birds were common buzzards (Buteo buteo), which in Hungary possess a conservation value of HUF 25,000 per individual. For the eight animals, this peaks in a HUF 200,000 altogether. If the damage to nature is proven, it can potentially be punishable by up to three years in prison.
The 57-year-old man was interrogated by KR NNI environmental crime investigators as a suspect, but he did not admit his guilt. The National Bureau of Investigation obtained all the evidence against the man that supports his guilt. Upon completion of the investigation, the documents were forwarded to the District Prosecutor's Office in Békéscsaba for prosecution purposes.
Since 2017, the MME together with 10 partner organizations from five neighboring countries have been fighting the suppression of poisonings and other crimes against birds of prey, especially the highly protected Imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca), within the framework of the PannonEagle LIFE project, which is supported by the European Union and co-financed by the Hungarian state. for (www.imperialeagle.eu).
"The MME welcomes and congratulates the National Bureau of Investigation on another successful investigation work, which, in addition to the well-deserved prosecution, also greatly helps in the prevention of similar cases. This is the second Hungarian criminal case related to the PannonEagle LIFE project that has reached the court stage, and we hope that several ongoing investigations will end with similar results." - said Márton Árvay, project manager of MME's PannonEagle LIFE project.