18/02/2015 : Joint operation by NPWS and Gardaí helps secure convictions for illegal deer hunting in Wicklow
Wednesday, 18th February—A joint operation between the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and An Garda Síochána has helped to secure convictions against two men for illegal deer hunting in the Wicklow Mountains.
Both men have been convicted of an offence under the Wildlife Acts. One of the men was fined €1,000 at Naas Circuit Court earlier this month, while the second man, who had pleaded guilty to charges in the District Court in December 2013, and was fined €1,100 and disqualified from driving for two years.
The case originated in February 2012 when officials from the National Parks and Wildlife Service discovered eight dead deer concealed in locations throughout the Sally Gap area of the Wicklow Mountains. Following further surveillance by NPWS officials and assistance from An Garda Síochána two men were apprehended and as part of a follow up operation eight further dead deer were discovered hidden beside the road.
NPWS staff and the Gardaí in Co. Wicklow and Carlow work closely together to combat wildlife crime. They regularly mount joint patrols aimed at detecting offences. Under the Wildlife Acts deer are protected animals which may only be hunted in certain circumstances:
- with land-owner permission
- at certain times of the day
- during the Open Season
- with a certain calibre of rifle.
It is an offence under the Wildlife Acts to fail to comply with a requirement of an authorised person of the NPWS or An Garda Siochana. Fines on a summary conviction can range from €1,000 to €5,000 and up to 12 months in prison.