The Rural Payments Agency has just (30 minutes ago) confirmed the amount of penalty imposed on the Stody Estate – it’s €263,308.10 (which according to my currency converter app is £192,160.63). This differs from the figure estimated by raptorpersecutionscotland by a fair margin – perhaps they will be blogging about this later in the day (they have!).
It’s a massive fine, for a massive crime. The first, and therefore largest (obvs!), fine of its kind (withdrawal of single area payment) for a raptor killing offence in England. And for the largest single poisoning event of raptors in England, we believe.
This is, kind of, vicarious liability by a different route – it hits the business not just the employee found guilty. It’s a lot of money for sure, and it should represent a large deterrent for the future.
Or will it? There is quite some doubt – and I have asked quite a few people who might be expected to know the answer – whether or not such penalties will still be able to be imposed under new regulations except in the case of SPAs and SACs, and only then in cases where the species whose status led to the notification of the SPA or SAC was affected. This needs to be cleared up by Defra and RPA pretty speedily. See comments on this post, Stody fine, 16 November.
I learned of the result in a very modern way. I got home, turned on the computer, opened Twitter and top of my stream was a tweet to me from the RPA (@Ruralpay), thus:
@Ruralpay 5 minutes ago
Hi @MarkAvery The RPA has disclosed the information in question under EIR requirements. Please see http://bit.ly/1MGpMPD
I seemed to be first in the queue, for some reason, as this was then followed by three other more or less identical tweets. How terribly modern!