Man due to be charged over giant tortoise deaths

A man has been served a court summons over the deaths of 10 giant tortoises found in Devon, police have said.

A number of dead giant tortoises were found in Ashclyst Forest, north of Exeter, between January and March.

Gary Priddle, 56, of Grecian Way, Exeter, is due to appear at Exeter Magistrates' Court on Thursday, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

Police said he would face charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Police said one charge states: "Between 29 December 2023 and 2 January 2024 at Exeter in the county of Devon threw down, dropped or otherwise deposited litter, namely ten deceased Aldabra tortoises and left it in East Devon."

The force said the second charge states: "Between 23 and 29 December 2023 at Exeter in the county of Devon did not take such steps as were reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which you were responsible, namely 10 Aldabra tortoises, were met to the extent required by good practice in that due to not checking on the daily welfare and heating system relating to their care which failed and led to the animals' death."

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