Belfast Telegraph

Barn owls seized during police search operation

Four barn owls have been seized by police following a search operation in the Craigavon area

Officers conducted a search of a property in Lurgan on Saturday after it was reported that barn owls were being held and sold over the internet.

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.

Barn Owls are legislated for under the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985 as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (NI) 2011.

In a statement the PSNI said: "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.

"Police would encourage anyone with information on wildlife crime to report it on 101. Alternative you can contact the independent crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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