Man banned after capturing wild tawny owls

A man has been disqualified from keeping birds after capturing wild owls and keeping them in cramped conditions with no access to clean water.


The three tawny owls were found at the home of Alan Mee, 61, after a tip off to authorities about the illegal possessions.

The birds, two of which are believed to have been taken from the wild, were kept in an aviary which was too small, had dirty water, and no feeding area, police say.

Officers from Cheshire Police's Rural Crime Team, Merseyside Police, RSPCA, and Natural England executed the search warrant on his home following tips about the illegal possessions.

Mee, of Larch Avenue, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of an animal, and two counts of possessing a wild bird at Crewe Magistrates' Court on Monday 17 July.

He was disqualified from keeping birds for a period of five years and also received a fine and court costs of £823.

PC Ashley Tether, of the Rural Crime Unit, said: “This case demonstrates the importance of working with our partner agencies to tackle wildlife crime and combat those responsible for the suffering of animals.

“The three tawny owls seized from Mee’s address were kept in poor conditions with no access to fresh water, an adequate enclosure size, or a clean food ledge.

“Mee is now disqualified from owning, keeping, participating in the keeping, or influencing the way birds are kept, for a period of five years.

“I hope this acts as a reminder that we are committed to doing all we can to help protect our wildlife.”