Time for a Crackdown on Wildlife Crime

Greens today backed calls for a crackdown on wildlife crime, particularly the poisoning of Scotland’s birds of prey, which has reached its highest level for 25 years in Scotland. Greens welcomed a Scottish Government announcement today in parliament to review the prevention, investigation and prosecution of wildlife crime. (1) However, Greens want to see dedicated Wildlife Crime Officers in every police force and the crimes treated more seriously with sufficient prioritisation and resources to tackle them, and not treated as minor offences.

Robin Harper MSP said:

“Wildlife crime is a serious matter, and indeed one that the public cares about very much.  And of course we should care about this issue, for cruelty to animals is totally unacceptable and has direct links with other forms of human violence and degrading behaviour.”

“Scotland’s wildlife protection laws may be among the best in Europe, but our record on the effective prevention, investigation and prosecution of wildlife crime is not one to be proud of. The Scottish Government’s motion rightly commends the collaborative work and commitment of those involved in tackling wildlife crime, but it is clear that there needs to be greater action.”

“We need to get more Wildlife Crime Officers.  We need at least one Wildlife Crime Officer in each police force. And these officers must be properly resourced, valued and supported – a special and dedicated force of full-time officers.”

“There has to be a greater prioritisation of wildlife crime. Training in wildlife crime legislation and procedures must be consistent across all police forces and throughout the
Procurator Fiscal service. Any compassionate society should properly enforce legislation on wildlife crime.  This is not an optional extra.  It is an absolute duty.”

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