The Stody Estate in Norfolk has lost 75% of its single farm payment after its former gamekeeper was found guilty of killing 11 birds of prey.
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) launched an investigation after Allen Lambert was found guilty of killing 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk on the game shooting estate, near Holt in Norfolk.
Mr Lambert, 66, of Edgefield, was handed a 10-week suspended sentence last November and ordered to pay £930 costs and an £80 victim surcharge after he was convicted of possession of pesticides and other items capable of being used to prepare poison baits.
He had pleaded guilty to five other charges, including the illegal use of pesticides.
In a statement read to the court, Stody Estate said it had considered Mr Lambert as a “valued and trusted member of staff”. However, he had “not been authorised, trained or asked to kill wildlife” and it had “no knowledge he possessed such items”.
The RSPB said Mr Lambert’s actions were “truly dreadful”, adding it was the “worst case of bird of prey poisoning” in England – and one of the worst ever in the UK.
Now a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed the RPA has enforced a cross-compliance penalty on Stody Estate.
The RPA said the financial penalty would be €263,308 (£184,538), equivalent to 75% of the Single Payments Scheme (SPS) payment the agency made to the estate in 2014.
The penalty has been applied for a breach of farmer requirement A1, of the pre-2015 Statutory Management Requirement 1 (Wild birds), which states: “You must not intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird”.