GODSHILL, England, Aug. 6 (UPI) — A British man has been busted for killing a protected species of bird that ultimately wound up on a menu as a chef’s salad.
The unnamed man, 45, was arrested after a restaurant in Godshill, Isle of Wight, was found to be serving rook salad, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Rooks are a protected bird under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, although they can be controlled under certain circumstances, the report said.
After a joint investigation by the Hampshire Police and Natural England, it was determined the Ryde, Isle of Wight, resident sold the rooks to a meat supplier, who in turn sold them to Taverner’s restaurant in Godshill.
Investigators said the man killed up to 30 fledgling rooks. He faced a maximum fine of nearly $10,000 and a jail term of up to six months per bird and was given a letter warning him to stop killing protected birds.
Taverner’s chef-proprietor, Roger Serjent, whose restaurant/pub has been featured in the Michelin Eating-Out Guide, said he purchased the birds in good faith.
“From my perspective we bought it completely innocently from the butcher,” Serjent said. “Afterwards we found out it was not legal. I had a lot of hate mail over it so I just want it to go away now.”