Great mysteries of our time

Another article in the latest edition of Legal Eagle is the case of an un-named gamekeeper with an un-named employer in Tayside in eastern Scotland. It is reported that in April 2010, Mr Mystery Gamekeeper was charged with various offences alleged to have taken place in woodland near Kirriermuir, including: failing to inspect a snare, setting in position or otherwise using snares where an animal caught would be likely to become fully or partially suspended, failing to release or remove an animal from a snare and by omission caused a fox unneccesary suffering. The outcome of these charges? Mr Mystery Gamekeeper received a Fiscal’s warning. So why the coyness over the identity of Mr Mystery Gamekeeper and his mystery employer? Does he or his employer have a super-injunction from the High Court that prevents anyone mentioning their names? Given the on-going problem of wildlife crime in this region in particular, how can it be in the public’s interest to keep this information under wraps? It’s a mystery all round.

Talking of mysteries, here’s an excerpt from another article in this issue of Legal Eagle. It’s a quote attributed to Mr Tom Dysart, who leads the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) on wildlife crime:

Scotland’s prosecutors are committed to providing a powerful and effective deterrent to those who commit crimes against wildlife and the environment. We are determined to ensure that COPFS plays its part in ensuring that Scotland’s rich and diverse natural heritage is protected“.

So the mystery is, when will we see this ‘powerful and effective deterrent’ in action? More importantly, when will the criminals see it so these seemingly endless wildlife crimes become less prevalent?

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