New measures to tackle illegal activity
New measures have been introduced to further deter those involved in wildlife crime.
There have been a number of recent reports and court cases that suggest wildlife crime is still on-going through the use of poisons, illegal trapping and shooting. Although 2012 saw a reduction in poisoning cases it is anticipated these further measures will help prevent more incidents.
The measures include:
- Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have been asked to examine how and when they could restrict the use of General Licences to trap and shoot wild birds on land where they have good reason to believe crimes have taken place.
- A group will be established to review how wildlife crime is treated within the legal system including whether the penalties available are adequate.
- The Lord Advocate has instructed prosecutors in the Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit to work with Police Scotland to ensure that law enforcement utilises all investigative tools at their disposal in the fight against wildlife crime.
Environment and Climate Change Minister and PAW Scotland Chairman Paul Wheelhouse said:
“I am determined to stop illegal persecution of raptors that continues to blight the Scottish countryside. These outdated, barbaric and criminal practices put at risk some of our most magnificent wildlife and have horrified a wide range of people across Scotland and those who love Scotland.
“Wildlife crime, and raptor persecution in particular, often takes place in remote locations or in the dark of night. By its very surreptitious nature, the likelihood of being seen by a member of the public who can report the matter to the authorities is small. Though through these new measures I am keen to maximise the opportunity for offences to be detected and offenders to be tracked down.
“Eradicating raptor persecution in Scotland remains a high priority for me and for this Government. It is not however the sole responsibility of Government. Law enforcement clearly has a key role to play. But also everyone should make clear their disapproval to the minority whose actions are tarnishing the reputation of Scotland’s country sports.”
Full version of the statement is available at:
More information on PAW Scotland at: www.paw.scotland.gov.uk