We are appealing for information after a wild goldfinch was found in a cage trap in a field in Ecton, Northamptonshire.

Cage trap © RSPCAThe bird was discovered by a concerned member of the public who had thought the bird had been abandoned.

The goldfinch was found in a field near a hedge on Northampton Road, Ecton on the same side as The World’s End pub.

However when one of our officers attended to collect the bird they revealed the goldfinch was actually in a cage trap, and appeared to have been put there in a bid to lure other wild birds into it.

On examination by an expert, the goldfinch was also found to be a wild bird rather than captive bred, even though it was ringed.

It is thought the ring had been tampered with and put on the bird to make it appear it had been bred in captivity.

Wild birds suffer horrendous stress when trapped

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) it is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take a goldfinch. Goldfinches are listed on Part I Schedule 3 of the Act, meaning that they can only be legally sold if they have been bred in captivity from legally owned parent birds and if they are fitted with approved rings.

RSPCA Inspector Michelle McNab said:

“There are a number of offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act which have been committed here. Wild finches are protected by law and it is illegal to trap, possess or sell a wild goldfinch.


“If a goldfinch has been bred in captivity from legally-owned parent birds then the bird can be sold, but must be fitted with an approved ring. Whoever had got this bird had tried to put a ring on it – to try and dupe others in to thinking it had been bred in captivity.


“The only reason this bird had been put in this particular trap was to try and catch more goldfinches.


“I find it so disheartening to think that someone is out there trying to trap wild songbirds and make them live a life in captivity. A wild bird would suffer horrendous stress by being trapped and handled –we need to spread the message that this practice will not be tolerated.


“I would appeal to anyone who has any information regarding this incident to contact me on the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”

Can you help?

Anyone with information about this incident  should contact our inspector information line on 0300 123 8018.

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