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Taiwanese man sentenced to six months in prison for bird deaths

Hsinchu farmer trapped, caged magpies that had been gnawing at his crops

Taiwanese man sentenced to six months in prison for bird deaths

(Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Hsinchu County man was recently sentenced to six months in prison after he captured six birds of a protected species and put them in a rat cage, resulting in the death of three of them.

According to the Hsinchu District Court’s sentencing document, the man, surnamed Hung (洪), failed to report to the authorities about wildlife gnawing at his crops before setting up traps in his orchard in April this year to catch the animals, CNA reported.

As a result, he caught six Taiwan Blue Magpies and transferred them to a rat cage. However, being encaged caused the birds to function abnormally, and they either died or suffered injuries from incessantly bumping into the wires, the report said.

After having received reports about the alleged cruelty to animals in April, police, along with personnel from the Hsinchu County Agriculture Department, went to Hung’s orchard to investigate, the sentencing document said. They found three dead Taiwan Blue Magpies discarded in bushes outside the orchard and three other such birds in a cage, with injuries.

The presiding judge noted that Hung had been aware of the birds’ status as a protected species

The action caused harm to the ecology and damaged the sustainability of the environment, the judge said, before sentencing Hung to six months in prison for violating the Wildlife Conservation Act. The decision can be appealed.