Crow traps: what you should know part 1

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…

2 thoughts on “Crow traps: what you should know part 1”

  1. Many years ago while out hillwalking on a estate that shall not be named, but has a very bad reputation regarding the care of Raptors. We came across a crow trap complete with crow and the bodies of about 3 Rabbits inside it. We passed on by it, but discussed on our way to the top of the hill why dead Rabbits would be used as bait in a crow trap, why not any kind of scraps of food as the crow would not be fussy what it ate. We came to the conclusion that maybe the estate/gamekeeper was after raptors ie Buzzards with this type of bait, so we decided to go back of the hill that way and release the Crow and get rid of the dead Rabbits. Fortunately we found the Crow released and the Rabbits gone, indeed we found one of the dead Rabbits just of the path further down the hill along with a Crow feasting on it. So somebody did the job for us. My question is this, would the Rabbits be there as bait for Crows or was the intended victims of this bait Raptors?

  2. The keepers should probably do the right thing and advise walkers that “covert CCTV is in operation on this land”.
    I wonder if that would allow anyone to install covert CCTV on that land? Sauce, goose, gander.

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