Man shot 28 badgers and kept them in freezer near Bodmin
A man shot 28 badgers and kept their carcasses in freezers at his home and on an industrial unit.
Scott Milne intended to be paid for the animals by claiming they were part of an authorised badger cull.
Milne, 42, from Helland near Bodmin in Cornwall, admitted wilfully killing 28 badgers and possessing 37. He also admitted failing to store firearms securely.
He was given an 18-week suspended sentence at Bodmin Magistrates' Court.
Police raided Milne's home and business addresses in July. At his home they found a freezer in an outbuilding containing eight badger carcasses.
They found several shotguns and rifles along with ammunition in two cars. At a unit on an industrial estate in Roche they found a number of freezer units containing 29 badgers.A vet examined all of the dead animals and found 28 had injuries consistent with being shot. Milne had a licence for badger culling issued by Natural England, but these animals had been killed outside of the cull period.
He told police he intended to submit them for payment when the cull period re-opened. His licence has since been suspended.
Badger culling areas were introduced by Natural England as part of government efforts to control tuberculosis in cattle.
Michael Green, defending, said this was "an unusual case" and his client "was taking a chance and clearly made a bad decision".
Milne previously worked as an engineer but gave that up to set up a field sports company in 2009, for which he obtained firearms certificates.
The court heard a number of farmers had provided positive references in relation to his character and the pest control service he provided.
He was also ordered to carry 150 hours of unpaid work and a deprivation order was issued for the guns, ammunition and carcasses.