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Barn owls seized over 'illegal internet sale' fears

Published 08/12/2015

A licence is required to keep a barn owl
A licence is required to keep a barn owl

Four barn owls have been seized by police in Northern Ireland amid suspicion they were going to be illegally sold on the internet.

The birds were recovered from a property in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

A licence is required to keep a barn owl.

A spokeswoman from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: "Officers conducted a search of a property in Lurgan on November 21, after it was reported that barn owls were being held and sold on the internet."

She added: "To hold a barn owl you must apply for a licence from the appropriate authorities, including the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

"Four barn owls were seized due a suspicion that they were being held and sold without the appropriate licences. Enquiries are continuing.

"The police service takes reports of wildlife crime seriously and view a report of a suspected wildlife crime like any other crime.

"When a report is made to PSNI an investigating officer will investigate accordingly and if an offence is disclosed this will be reported to the public prosecution service. PSNI work closely with partner agencies and on this occasion it included the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and bird experts."

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