Raptor Persecution

May 1, 2014 peter Uncategorized

A debate will be held in Chamber next Monday under the heading: Wildlife Crime, Eradicating Raptor Persecution from Scotland. The Trust supports the strong stance taken by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse, and his calls for the wildlife crime punishment to be both proportionate and substantial enough to discourage others. The Trust supports a policy of zero tolerance to those who flout the law and illegally kill Scotland’s rare and iconic birds.

This debate is the Scottish Government’s response to the spate of raptor poisonings in Ross-shire – a total of 22 red kites and buzzards have been found dead in Ross-shire in the past few weeks. More than half of the birds killed were red kite, a species which is afforded the highest level of protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

These incidents follow on from the death of a four-year old female peregrine in Stirlingshire, the disappearance of a young white-tailed eagle in east Scotland and the poisoning of a tagged golden eagle in Angus.

The Trust believes that criminal acts such as these not only damage Scotland’s biodiversity it also risks Scotland’s success a special place for residents and visitors alike.

Douglas Wilson, a trustee of the Highland Titles Charitable Trust for Scotland said: “The ease with which raptor poisonings have been carried out, killing so many of Scotland’s rarest and best loved species such as peregrine falcon, red kite and golden eagle and the difficulty in catching the offenders, highlights the fact that the law must change”.

“We believe that recent deaths represent only a small part of the crimes that have been committed and the rural nature of the crime means that more resources must be committed to dealing with this criminal campaign”

“Our supporters want to help protect wildlife from wildlife crime. The Trust has previously  managed a small part of the Glen Etive and Glen Fyne Special Protection Area (SPA)  From that experience, we know that Scotland’s raptors are loved around the world”.

“The public must remain vigilant, legislation must be made stronger to include the use of the vicarious liability provision where appropriate, and a properly funded wildlife crime unit.”

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