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RSPB Scotland welcomes Government report into Wildlife Crime in Scotland

Last modified: 30 September 2013

Profile of golden eagle

Image: Bill Paton

RSPB Scotland has today welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government report Wildlife Crime in Scotland and is calling for a Parliamentary debate to discuss the issue.

The annual report provides information to assist the Scottish Parliament in monitoring progress of wildlife crime enforcement and reduction measures.

The results of the report demonstrate that wildlife crime still touches many of Scotland’s rarest and most vulnerable animals and plants. While the report highlights a welcome reduction in the number of reported poisoning incidents against birds of prey in 2012, the nature conservation charity remains concerned that some criminals may have changed tactics from illegal poisoning to trapping, shooting and nest destruction, and is calling for more resources to tackle and prevent these crimes.

Duncan Orr-Ewing, RSPB Scotland Head of Species and Land Management, said: “We welcome the publication of this report and the continuing commitment of the Minister and the Scottish Government to wildlife crime enforcement and prevention.  We hope this report will stimulate a good discussion by our law makers, particularly around the level of policing and other agency resources that are required to effectively tackle these crimes in both urban areas and the countryside.

“As the Year of Natural Scotland comes to a close, we must acknowledge that wildlife crime is still widely regarded as a blight on the reputation of Scotland as a place which gives its important natural heritage a safe home. Three golden eagles were identified as victims of wildlife crime in 2012.  Regrettably, these victims included a golden eagle shot in the south of Scotland, where the species is already struggling to maintain a toehold, and adds to the depressing list of crimes in recent years against what is regarded by many as our national bird.

“We hope that the reduction in reported illegal poisoning of birds of prey in 2012 will be maintained, and that we see a clear effect on the ground with birds of prey returning to our skies in areas where they are currently absent.”

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