A court in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Bourgas has given a British citizen six months’ suspended sentence and fined him 5000 leva (about 2500 euro) for taking eggs from the nests of protected bird species.
The sentence was imposed on UK citizen Ian Frederick Rose after an agreement with the Bourgas Regional Prosecutor’s Office, local media said.
The case was unprecedented in the history of Bourgas courts because it concerned a violation of the Biological Diversity Act. The prosecution was also the first of its kind in Bulgaria.
Evidence was that a search of Rose’s home had found the eggs, climbing equipment, equipment for preserving eggs, photographic equipment and log information. The eggs were reportedly taken for his personal collection.
“The strange hobby is almost unknown in this country, but it is common in Britain,” one Bulgarian-language media report in Bourgas said.
Rose’s defence was that he did not know that the species were protected.
The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds took a particular interest in the case.
The society’s Petar Yankov said that he was “amazed” by the way the Bulgarian court had applied the law and criticised the sentence as unduly low.
Dimitar Gradinarov, who co-ordinates the society’s work against attacks on wild birds, said that collecting the eggs of rare birds was a specific type of crime against nature, which could cause enormous damage to the populations of endangered species.
“Plundering of nests (eggs and young) is one of the reasons for the unfavourable situation of many diurnal birds of prey and the real risk of extinction of some on the territory of Bulgaria,” Gradinarov told media in Bourgas.
(Photo: Slavomir Ulicny/freeimages.com)