The Scottish Environment Minister, Stewart Stevenson MSP, has confirmed that the Scottish government will consult on extending the powers of the SSPCA in relation to the investigation of wildlife crime. The consultation is planned to begin in the first half of 2012, a year after it was first agreed to.
This recent announcement came after MSP Elaine Murray once again raised the question about when the consultation would actually take place (see here for her earlier motion on this issue and for some background reading on why many feel these extended powers for the SSPCA are urgently needed). Thank you, Elaine Murray MSP.
Here is the transcript of the relevant parliamentary question and answer from Thursday 17th November 2011:
Elaine Murray (Dumfriesshire) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration it is giving to extending the powers of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in relation to the investigation of wildlife crime and whether it will consult on the introduction of relevant legislation. (S4W-03975)
Stewart Stevenson: As the then Minister for Environment and Climate Change made clear at Stage 3 of the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill on 2 March 2011, we intend to consult on extending the powers of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in relation to the investigation of wildlife crime. We plan to launch this consultation in the first half of 2012.