A BREEDER has struck back against minks who broke into his aviaries and killed 86 endangered birds.

Ron Taylor, owner of Bransford Game Fisheries, near Powick, blamed the Environment Agency for scaring the killer minks on to his land, although the organisation denies responsibility.

Mr Taylor fought back against the invasion and managed to catch three of the animals with vermin traps on Wednesday.

The 88-year-old said: “They killed 86 Indian grey junglefowl. The electric fence around the aviaries didn’t deter them at all.

“They are irreplaceable these days, they are an endangered species, they only come from India.”

Mr Taylor believes the minks dug under the electric fence and slashed the throats of his birds.

He claims the Environment Agency’s efforts to rescue fish from a nearby river caused the massacre.

The breeder said: “The local fishermen have been complaining to the Environment Department that the river is so low the fish are being trapped and taken by mink.

“They [the Environment Agency] took the fish from very shallow pools and put them into deeper pools.

“Instead of killing the mink off first, they [the Environment Agency] drove the mink into the surrounding farm land. They scared them off.”

He now wants to catch birds in India and bring them home.

Mr Taylor previously worked as a manager for Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, However, he gave it all up to rear Indian grey junglefowl in 1978.

He said: “When I was out east I was very upset by the fact they were clearing forest to make way for oil plantations. They were killing very rare pheasants. I made arrangements for them to be brought back to Jersey Zoo.

“Members of the World Pheasant Association said we want you to rear Indian grey junglefowl as they are endangered.”

Mr Taylor has now been rearing the rare breed for 30 years, selling around 10,000 feathers for fly fishing annually.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “There is no evidence to suggest our work to rescue fish on the River Teme displaced mink. During this prolonged hot weather Environment Agency staff have worked 24/7 to protect the environment rescuing thousands of fish in distress.”

The minks killed Mr Taylor’s birds on August 2.