Demand Harsher Punishment for Convicted Eagle Killer

Target: The Honourable Anne Ferguson, Chief Justice of Victoria Supreme Court

Goal: Demand Victoria courts give confessed killer of 406 eagles harsher sentence than 14 days.

An Australia farmer has been sentenced to 14 days jail time and fined $2,500 AUD after pleading guilty to killing 406 protected wedge-tailed eagles. Reports state that he had injected lamb carcasses with an insecticide and enticed the birds to feed, hiding their carcasses on his property over a period of two years.

While this is the first time someone will serve jail time for harming the birds, Humane Society International feels this is not nearly enough punishment for Murray James Silvester. The punishment amounts to “less than an hour of time and six dollars an eagle.” This makes even less sense when the maximum penalty for actively harming wildlife protected under the Victoria Wildlife Act is up to six months in jail and an $8,000 AUD fine. The wedge-tailed eagle is a species protected under this act, and Silvester had been luring the birds to their death for over a period of two years.

Two weeks of jail time is nowhere near enough punishment for the senseless killing of protected wildlife. Sign this petition to demand a longer and harsher sentence for this man.


Dear Judge Ferguson,

Victoria farmer Murray James Silvester only receiving a 14-day jail sentence and a $2,500 AUD fine for his killing of 406 wedge-tailed eagles is unacceptable. The wedge-tailed eagle is a protected species under the Victoria Wildlife Act, and Silvester had been luring the birds to their death over a period of 2 years via poisoned lamb carcasses.

Two weeks jail time and a 2,500 fine is nowhere near enough punishment for Silvester’s actions. It sends the message to anyone else seeking to harm wildlife that they may as well go ahead and do it, that their supposed punishment will hardly be punishment at all. Silvester is basically paying six dollars and one hour of penance for every eagle he killed, amounting to little more than a slap on the wrist. We demand you increase the length and severity of his punishment immediately, to send the message that harming protected wildlife will not be tolerated.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: James Niland



  1. gen agustsson says:

    2 week jail time is not really enough!

  2. Charlee Hosking says:

    This sad creep deserves the full penalty of the law.
    “The maximum penalty for killing so many eagles, more than $350,000 or six months’ jail.
    He received two weeks, we agree he got off VERY lightly.

    “He knew it was unlawful to kill them,” the court was told.

    “His actions were conscious, voluntary and deliberate, he googled them, he knew they were protected species.”

    Australians need to step up and stop this slaughter, which Dept officials know full well occurs regularly on farms. They know this goes on and turn a blind eye.

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