Scottish Government publishes first wildlife crime report (2012)

Wildlife Crime in Scotland 2012 ReportThe long-awaited Scottish Government report on wildlife crime has just been published.

The publication of this annual report became a requirement under the new Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, and this first report relates to wildlife crime incidents recorded in Scotland during 2012. It covers various elements of wildlife crime, including raptor persecution, badger persecution, bat persecution, freshwater pearl mussel persecution and poaching.

As the report has only been published today, we won’t be commenting on it in detail until we’ve had a chance to read and analyse the contents. As you might expect, we’ll be ignoring the gloss of the press release and will be drawing our own conclusions, rather than blindly accepting the usual ‘good news’ spin that typically accompanies this sort of ‘official’ publication.

One thing we did notice straight away though, was that the RSPB has not been acknowledged as a data source. That’s quite interesting, seeing as the RSPB is the ONLY organisation in Scotland to compile comprehensive data on raptor persecution incidents. Instead, the organisations listed include the Scottish Government Justice Department, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Police Scotland, and the National Wildlife Crime Unit. Hmm.

It will be very interesting to compare the number of incidents that have been listed as “police-recorded raptor crimes” with the number of incidents recorded in RSPB Scotland’s 2012 Annual Report, which should be published in the near future.

We’ll be blogging about the Scot Gov annual report in due course. For now, you can read it here: Wildlife Crime in Scotland 2012 Report

9 thoughts on “Scottish Government publishes first wildlife crime report (2012)”

  1. “…..PAW partners are united in working together to see these archaic and barbaric practices stamped out” (raptor persecution) What a load of crap, the Scottish gamekeepers Association is a member of PAW.

  2. I’m astonished that the RSPB figures have not been included in this report! I’m looking forward to reading your review of the report. :-)

    1. Soph, the RSPB’s data may well be included – we don’t know – but if their data are in this report, it seems surprising that they haven’t been acknowledged as a data source. Perhaps another group is trying to claim credit….it wouldn’t be the first time….RSPB Scotland has been producing the annual poisoning maps for YEARS, and then suddenly along came PAW Scotland who decided that THEY wanted to be seen to be producing these maps so they just stuck their name all over them!!

      We’ll see whether RSPB data are included in this report or not when the RSPB Scotland annual report is published and we can compare figures. Hopefully their report will be out soon.

  3. Oh dear, I’ve just looked at the first page and the summary of proceeded against and guilty of a crime under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981! Hmm, those figures are nothing to be proud of, as those of us who follow raptor persecution closely know that the figures that don’t even get to prosecution stages (for many reasons) are much higher!!

    1. So, P29 tells us that there were 55 bird crimes committed in 2011/12, while P.6 tells us there were 15 prosecutions. What happened to the 40 other crimes, they just weren’t prosecuted, but for what reason? Or was it the same offender committing multiple crimes?!

  4. Pathetic, 4 pages on raptors!
    One thing stands out though. Wheelhouse can’t say bird crime is dropping. I doubt if the figures have any statistical significance but if they do then poisoning is no longer the favoured method of persecution.
    I can’t stand the language used. They are terrified of calling a spade a spade.
    Sentences like this appear to want it both ways ‘The last few years have shown an encouraging decline in raptor poisoning numbers. It is too early to say yet whether this represents a genuine reduction in overall raptor persecution, or whether there has been a corresponding increase in other forms of persecution.’ [Then why is it encouraging?]
    Every sentence is watered down. ‘We must feel sorry for those poor estate owners, they are in such a difficult position they are almost forced against their will to kill birds of prey but we must remind them they are behaving rather naught, tut tut.’
    Can there really have been no Red Kite incidents in 2012!!!! Find that very hard to believe.

    1. Interesting to note though, that this particular incident now seems to have been accepted as a wildlife crime, i.e. the eagle is recorded as having been “trapped” [illegally], as opposed to the SGA’s version of events where it broke its legs not by being caught in an illegal spring trap that had been set out on a grouse moor but supposedly by flying into a deer fence, then later rolling down a hill to get airborne after being spooked by a predator, then flying 10 miles north in the dead of night before crash landing in a tree, falling to the floor and dying.

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