Charges laid over eagle killings

Native animal skulls discovered along with ammunition and a four-wheel drive that are among items seized in raids linked to the mass slaying of wedge-tailed eagles in regional Victoria. Picture: Supplied
Native animal skulls discovered along with ammunition and a four-wheel drive that are among items seized in raids linked to the mass slaying of wedge-tailed eagles in regional Victoria. Picture: Supplied

A man has been charged over the mass poisoning of 136 wedge-tailed eagles in East Gippsland, authorities confirmed this week.

Piles of the protected native birds were found on a property at Tubbut, just south of the NSW border in June, with police and Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning conducting investigations and raids on nearby properties.

The investigation was termed the biggest case of wedge-tailed eagle deaths in Victorian history.

On Tuesday, two initial charges were filed under the Wildlife Act 1975. The man is accused of killing protected wildlife through the use of poison baits between October 2016 and April 2018.

A DELWP spokesperson said bail was granted with a condition he surrender his passport, so as to ensure his appearance before a court of proper jurisdiction.

Investigations are ongoing, including forensic examination of evidence recently seized in searches of relevant properties. 

The deliberate killing of that many wedge-tailed eagles can result in a jail term as well as fines totalling a maximum of around $115,000.

Wedge-tailed eagles are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and deliberately killing them carries maximum penalties of $7928, and a possible six months' jail, as well as an extra fine of $792 for each additional dead bird.

This story Charges laid over eagle killings first appeared on Bega District News.