Prison for man who captured 13,000 birds

A 40-year old man has been sentenced to one and a half years in prison for animal cruelty and illegal hunting. The man had captured 13,000 wild birds during five years work with net and traps.

Environmental prosecutor Christer Jarlås says to Swedish Radio News that this is a unique case.

"This is the toughest sentence in the country for aggravated illegal hunting.There is nothing else to compare it to. There has never been anything like it in a court in Sweden."

The authorities acted after several reports from members of the public. When the local county inspected his house in 2009 they found eggs and also 400 birds, living or dead.

The man, who was sentenced in Hudiksvall court, had meticulously recorded all his captures on a computer.

His catches included rare birds, such as eagle owls, three-toed woodpeckers, tengmalms and barnacle geese.

The bird catcher himself says that he has never wanted to harm birds, only to rehabilitate and release them.