Without even the tiniest weeniest hint of irony, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association is complaining about ‘criminal activity in the countryside’ in reference to the recent alleged release of crows from a trap on a Scottish sporting estate.
Oh and it gets better…. according to the SGA, in response to this criminal activity Northern Constabulary has “issued an appeal for information”. Although we should point out that we’ve been unable to find any public record of this ‘appeal for information’ so we only have the SGA’s word to rely upon. But let’s assume the SGA is telling the truth…
Is this the same Northern Constabulary who apparently failed to fully investigate the suspected decapitation and shooting of a white-tailed eagle on Skye (see here) and the discovery of a poisoned red kite on the boundary of Skibo Estate (see here)?
That’s not the end of the irony either – the SGA goes on to suggest that cameras could be installed at crow traps, presumably to film any member of the public who may be inclined to interefere with the trap (which may amount to a criminal offence). Wouldn’t it be interesting to see whether that film footage would be considered as acceptable evidence in any subsequent prosecution, especially after recent film footage showing the activities of a Scottish gamekeeper using a stick to beat crows to death inside a crow trap on a Speyside sporting estate (see here), was deemed inadmissable evidence?
One rule for one but not the other? Surely not!
In light of the SGA’s recent one-sided promotion of crow traps and their encouragement to SGA members to report suspected trap interference (see here for their article) as well as the landowners’ representative body, Scottish Land and Estates, encouraging their members to do likewise (see here), we thought it only fair that we provide an alternative view on the use (and more importantly the mis-use) of crow traps on Scottish sporting estates and give the public the neccessary information about how to recognise the difference between a legal and an illegal trap, and what to do if you find an illegal one.
Watch this space…