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Woman convicted for hindering eagle death investigation

A woman has been convicted and fined $1,000 for obstructing a Conservation Regulator Authorised Officer during an investigation into eagle deaths near Benalla in 2019.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 at 1:15 am

The woman withheld mobile phone sim cards requested by the Authorised Officer during a search warrant at her Goomalibee property in September 2019.

The search was part of a broader investigation into the large-scale deaths of wedge-tailed eagles and other birds of prey in and around Violet Town, in North East Victoria.

The search warrant permitted Authorised Officers to take mobile phones and electronic devices. The woman provided 5 mobile phones but three were missing sim cards.

She initially claimed she did not know where the sim cards were, but later handed them to an Authorised Officer.

The woman pleaded not guilty and was convicted and fined for obstructing an Authorised Officer under the Wildlife Act 1975.

His Honour Magistrate Rod Crisp said the execution of search warrants are serious and not to be impeded.

The woman’s mother-in-law will appear at Benalla Magistrates’ Court for a special mention hearing next week, facing 291 charges over the deaths of more than 100 wedge-tailed eagles and other protected native birds.


Our Authorised Officers work hard to investigate wildlife crimes and execute search warrants to gather evidence. Obstructing an Authorised Officer is unacceptable behaviour as it delays an investigation from proceeding.

Search warrants are granted to Authorised Officers by the courts and should be taken seriously by the public.

Kate Gavens
Chief Conservation Regulator

Conservation Regulator Victoria