From Wildlife Extra:
UK investigation leads to conviction of three Swedish egg collectors
February 2014: An enquiry, which started in the UK five years ago, involving the collecting and trading of wild birds’ eggs, has led to the conviction of three Swedish egg collectors.
This week the three men from Härnösand, Gothenburg and Vingåker faced over 100 charges relating to bird’ eggs taken from the wild between 2003 and 2009, and also in trading in birds’ eggs. The man from Härnösand received a one-year prison sentence, while the other two received fines of around £1,100 and £3,800.
It began in February 2009 when a collection of over 2000 birds’ eggs was seized by police in County Durham. An investigation carried out by the RSPB showed the suspect was involved in exchanging birds’ eggs with a ring of people in England, Scotland, Sweden, the US and Australia. Andrew Seed, of Low Willington, County Durham, was convicted in December 2009 for keeping, trading and smuggling birds’ eggs.
After further investigation two men in Scotland were also convicted and enquiries by Police Scotland and RSPB identified the link to egg collectors in Sweden. As a result, three addresses were raided in Sweden in 2010 and around 6,600 eggs were seized.
Guy Shorrock, a senior RSPB investigations officer, said: “This enquiry which started in County Durham in 2009 has unraveled an amazing web of people, as far as the US and Australia, involved in the taking, keeping and trading of birds’ eggs. There has been a long history of the authorities and RSPB working to tackle egg collectors in the UK. We suspect that egg collectors in other countries may be below the radar of the authorities – for example, the enquiry in Sweden generated another enquiry in Finland leading to the seizure of another 10,000 eggs. The RSPB hopes this will send out a strong message to egg collectors at home and abroad.”