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Poacher who killed 131 animals ‘must pay’

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Poacher who killed 131 animals ‘must pay’
A pair of roe deer. In what is described as Jura's worst poaching case, a former wildlife officer killed 87 of them, in addition to 44 other animals. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
22:27 CET+01:00
A former auxiliary wildlife officer convicted in the biggest poaching case to ever hit the canton of Jura has been ordered by Switzerland’s top court to pay close to 100,000 francs in damages to the canton.

The 40-year-old man was found guilty in 2009 of illegally killing a total of 131 animals between November 2002 and August 2006 and received a suspended jail term of 18 months.

He appealed an additional 91,000-franc penalty for damages to the canton fixed by the cantonal court of Jura in April 2012.

But the Swiss supreme court upheld the damages in a decision released on Tuesday.

The officer killed 87 roe deer, eight chamois, 26 hares, nine boar and an owl.

A fellow poacher illegally killed 12 roe deer, two hares and two boars, while another two hunters were sentenced earlier in the case.

The country’s top court ruled that federal law permits cantons and municipalities the right to see compensation for damages caused by poaching equivalent to the “value of the animal illegally killed”.

The convicted man is also required to share in the cost of paying a further 20,000-franc penalty with the three other poachers.

When the case first went to trial in November 2009, the prosecutor described the four men as “an organized gang that brought the law into their own hands in the forests of Franches-Montagnes (a district in the canton of Jura).

The former wildlife officer was previously banned from hunting in Switzerland for 10 years.

The other three culprits, including a brother of the auxiliary officer, received suspended jail terms and fines.

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