Charges laid over Violet Town eagle deaths
A Violet Town woman has been charged over the unlawful possession of more than 140 protected native bird carcasses, 128 of them Wedge-tailed Eagles, which were found across paddocks north of Violet Town.
The Violet Town woman, faces 291 charges under the Wildlife Act 1975 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986, includingthe poisoning of Wedge-tailed Eagles and the possession of other wildlife.
In August 2019, authorised officers from the Conservation Regulator, Forest Fire Management Victoria, with the support of Victoria Police and Agriculture Victoria, executed a search warrant at the woman’s property, after a number of deceased Wedge-tailed Eagles were found in the area.
The Benalla Magistrates’ Court is due to hear the matter early in the new year.
Native birds are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. Killing native birds or being in possession of them without the appropriate licence or authority carries a maximum penalty ranging from $8,261 to $39,652 and/or six to 24 months imprisonment.To report wildlife crime contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.
Quotes attributable to Chief Conservation Regulator, Kate Gavens:
“We understand the value the community places on Victoria’s native wildlife, and we are taking these matters very seriously.”
“Wedge-tailed Eagles are Victoria’s largest bird of prey and an important part of our environment. This investigation shows the Conservation Regulators commitment to combating wildlife crime and protecting the iconic Wedge-tailed Eagle.”
Eagle death toll hits 89: Investigators test for poison at Violet Town
Sep 3 2019
THE death toll from the suspected poisoning of Wedge-tailed eagles on a property north of Violet Town has risen to 89, following the discovery of 13 more carcasses.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning officers are investigating if the deaths are deliberate, including the possible use of poison.
A warrant was issued early last week, allowing Victoria Police and DELWP investigators to search the sheep and cattle property’s home and buildings for further evidence.
Samples of the dead eagles have been sent off for testing.
The deaths follow last year’s discovery of the carcasses of more than 400 Wedge-tailed eagles on an East Gippsland property at Tubbut, which were poisoned during the previous two-and-a-half years.
The suspected poison in the Gippsland case was the now banned sheep dip Luci-Jet.
Luci-jet is highly toxic to birds, with CSIRO research from 1985 stating “seven species of birds in Australia are highly sensitive to the organophosphorous insecticide”, including Wedge-tailed eagles.
Poisoned birds lose their ability to stand or fly, before convulsing and dying.
Native birds are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and the penalty for deliberately injuring or killing wildlife ranges from $8,261 to $39,652 and/or six to 24 months’ imprisonment.
If you have any information regarding this incident contact DELWP on 136 186 or Crime Stoppers Victoria: 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au/report-a-crime
Vic bird deaths blamed on insecticide
Oct 7 2019
An insecticide is believed to have killed almost 200 native birds in northeast Victoria.
Dead wedge-tailed eagles found near Violet Town in August, led the state’s environment department to find more, along with hawks and falcons, on a nearby property.
They have since found up to 200 dead native birds in the area, including 25 wedge-tailed eagles.
Tests of six eagles have detected an insecticide used to control mites.
The same agricultural chemical has been found in the carcasses of animals suspected of being used as bait, with the department believing it may have caused all of the bird deaths.
But they aren’t sure whether the poisoning was an accident.
“It remains unclear if these birds were deliberately poisoned, however given the large number of birds found nearby, it’s a possibility,” environment department compliance manager Andrew Dean said.
Raids have also taken place in recent weeks at properties in Shepparton East and Goomalibee.
“All evidence collected will be forensically analysed, including the carcasses and chemicals seized, which may take some time.”