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Sale of old stuffed bird goes to Supreme Court

James Savage · 14 Jul 2010, 14:49

Published: 14 Jul 2010 14:49 GMT+02:00

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The bird, a goshawk, had been owned by the man’s family since the 1960s and was not shot by hunters, but died by other means. But according to laws on the trade in endangered species, the sale of any stuffed protected animal requires permission from the authorities - something the owner of the bird did not know.

The District Court and the Court of Appeal in Upper Norrland had both agreed that while the man had technically broken the laws on protecting endangered species, the circumstances of the case meant he should not receive a criminal conviction or be fined. The courts agreed that the selling the bird had not put endangered species at further risk:

“The purpose of the law is to protect wild animals and plants and to ensure their preservation by controlling the trade in them... The current case relates to a preserved goshawk that had not been killed through hunting. It isn’t a question of organized selling, but is clearly a one-off event,” the District Court said in a judgement.

But despite the fact that the verdict was upheld on appeal, Sweden’s Prosecutor-General now wants the case to be tried in the Supreme Court. Prosecutor Lars Persson argued that the purpose of the Swedish law is not only to protect animals, but also to preserve the authorities’ control over the trade in endangered species. The fact that the man did not apply for permission to sell the bird meant that he should face criminal charges, he said.

The goshawk is a medium-large bird of prey found in large areas of Europe and North America. There are estimated to be 5,000-10,000 breeding pairs in Sweden, although this number is thought to be falling.

Story continues below…

The Supreme Court must now decide whether to hear the case. The seller will face fines if convicted.

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:53 July 14, 2010 by alingsaskev
I cannot see how the public good, nor the Goshawk are being served by the Swedish Prosecution Service pursuing this matter.

The man has been cleared by two courts of undertaking anything with malicious intent and the case should be dropped.

The Swedish state is wasting thousands of Kronors worth of tax payers money petulantly chasing a technicality. They should be truly ashamed.
15:57 July 14, 2010 by teslar
You know you live in a country with a low crime rate if prosecutors take you all the way to the Supreme Court over selling a stuffed bird. It's like they're afraid they might end up out of a job since there simply would be nothing left for them to do otherwise.
16:13 July 14, 2010 by GLO
This is just NUTS.....
17:31 July 14, 2010 by eZee.se
+1 to 'teslar'!
17:54 July 14, 2010 by Makaveli
A nut job Feminist burns up a 20kr notes worth a hundred thousand, and nobody prosecutes her, but when a guy sells a DEAD stuffed bird, the case reaches the supreme court. Can somebody tell me whats wrong with this system??
18:43 July 14, 2010 by mukiwa
yes, of course, socialism in action ....quote "Prosecutor Lars Persson argued that the purpose of the Swedish law is not only to protect animals, but also to preserve the "authorities'" control over the trade in endangered species. The government must control you!!!
19:02 July 14, 2010 by LeoKinmann
seriously, whoever prosecuted the guy to Supreme Court must have absolutely no life!!!
19:05 July 14, 2010 by La Figaro
This is utter rubbish and sheer stupidity but then apparently, some lawyers need to practise their skills on mundane things in the hope of appearing in the papers or news. Or is he paid based on court appearances?

Sweden sometimes lacks common sense, its hard to believe the prosecutor is actually human and not a programmed machine
19:46 July 14, 2010 by hilt_m
lol this is just Lars Persson trying to get his name in the paper and look like he is actually doing something. Waste of time!
04:03 July 15, 2010 by Dr. Dillner
. . . and just how much money is all this government foolishness going to cost? I think someone needs to press the does-this-make-sense button!!
08:34 July 15, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Can somone stuff Lars Persson please. I would like to buy him and display him outside Parliament as an example of what happens to state employees who squander taxpayers' money.
09:15 July 15, 2010 by Rick Methven
If The Supreme Court follows the ruling already made by the lower courts, then Lars Persson should personally foot the legal costs for all 3 court cases.

Thats what would happen if it was a civil plaintiff. He is pursuing a personal crusade to establish personal 'authority' that should not be done at the expense of the tax payer
09:48 July 15, 2010 by xenyasai
@mukiwa: Ah yes, the old claim that socialism controls you. What do you prefer? Capitalism? How is that working for USA at the moment?
09:54 July 15, 2010 by queenS
I think mr Persson is alredy stuffed. Obviously it is not his brain that he is using. What a joke! And btw did we manage to save any of those endangered species? Ever? Anything?
10:22 July 15, 2010 by engagebrain
The state has already made its point - the law was broken.

Persson should find something useful to do with his time and our money.
10:29 July 15, 2010 by Justease
Idle minds must always find something stupid or useless to pursue. Swedish law system is a big joke and one obvious ridicule.

What if the prosecutor wins this time, how does that enhance public interest let alone the human race?

A dead bird? Stupid case
12:57 July 15, 2010 by Scepticion
Report it to the ombudsman for government waste:


16:17 July 15, 2010 by ADJB
It's not dead. It's restin !
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