Government efforts needed to protect Scottish wildlife

I read on the BBC news website earlier this week that a large proportion of crimes on wildlife in Scotland are not being reported. 

An inquiry was held by the the rural affairs, climate change and environment committee and it has been agreed that more needs to be done to protect our wildlife.

The committee issued a letter to Environment Minister, Aileen Mcleod, that included the following points:-

Concerns that criminal proceedings only appear to be taken in around one fifth of the instances of wildlife crime reported to police, and of these 20.7% are then marked for “no action” by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

The concern of former Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse that certain species are almost entirely absent in areas of Scotland where it is expected they would be present

The need for the location of wildlife crimes, including locations of illegally placed poisons and traps, to be effectively and consistently mapped

The committee’s welcoming of steps being taken by Scottish Natural Heritage and police to restrict general licences to trap and shoot wild birds.

This discussion comes after the possible murder of 22 birds of prey in the Scottish Highlands; 16 red kites and six buzzards were found dead and it’s confirmed that 12 were killed by ingesting an illegal poison.

Committee convenor, Rob Gibson, said:

As awareness of the scope and complexity of wildlife crime increases, we strongly believe there is no room for complacency from any of us in tackling this important issue.

“We questioned whether wildlife crime is sufficiently prioritised by Police Scotland and the Crown Office.

The Campaign Against Accidental and Illegal Poisoning of Wildlife advises to look out for the following

Dead animals cut open and staked out – these may be laced with poison

Several dead birds or other dead animals found close together

Animals which appear to have died without obvious reason or lying next to something that may have been eaten

Pet dogs falling very ill after a walk in the countryside

Other campaigns currently running at the moment include Vote For Bob, which is encouraging us to rally our politicians to become more involved in the protection of our wildlife and countrysides.

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