Recently on the Wyrley & Essington canal members of the public witnessed a very callous act when a group of individuals were killing water fowl, this time with catapults. Local residents that contacted me described it as a ‘Duck Massacre’.
This is a very worry some incident, and not for the first time has this happened on the canal in Wednesfield. I contacted the police about the public concerns.
The Police have told me that “regarding your query on Wild life crime, part of the “Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981” gives protection to wild birds and certain wild animals; in this case ducks are covered in this Act. Although illegal to kill or injure the ducks it is not a criminal offence, this act is covered by civil law, as such the Police do not record these events in any form of criminal investigation.
This information was a surprise to me, but nevertheless it is important to know. The advice I would give is that if someone witnesses this happening, then yes they should be calling Police on 101, as we can assist in identifying the persons responsible if they are found on the scene and it is also a danger to other people if persons are using catapults etc. It is integral that we report these matters to the RSPB, they have an online form to report this and they have the power to enforce this law.
“ The Police go onto assure me that with regards to this particular incident they have been to the witnesses and spoke with them about the incident. The Police tell me that they are to continue their patrols of the canal and increase visibility in the area.
I for my part remain very distressed that on the cusp of the canal getting official recognition as a Local Wildlife Reserve for the diversity of wildlife it has, that such an act could happen. Please if you see anyone with nets, guns, or catapults on the Wyrley and Essington canal….please report it to the Police.