SSPCA Consultation responses now published

sspca logoThe Scottish Government has now published the respsonses to its consultation on whether the SSPCA should be given increased investigatory powers to allow them to investigate a wider suite of wildlife crimes than their current remit allows.

There were 233 responses, although not all of them have been published as some respondents exercised their right to have their response withheld.

There are a lot of responses from ‘individuals’, and although some have exercised their right to remain anonymous, others have allowed their names to be shown. Some of these are hilarious – including one respondent who has the same name as an SGA committee member, and another respondent who has the same name as a (now retired) wildlife crime police officer. Unsurprisingly, both slag off the SSPCA.

There are also responses from organisations with game-shooting interests (GWCT, SLE, SGA etc), as well as from Police Scotland and one now retired sheriff – unsurprisingly, they are un-supportive of the SSPCA being given more powers.

We’ll be analysing all the responses and will blog about this in due course.

In the meantime, pour yourself a cup of coffee and settle yourselves in for some entertaining reading  by checking out the responses for yourselves: HERE.

13 thoughts on “SSPCA Consultation responses now published”

  1. The SGA appear to have circulated a stock response to their members. saying the SSPCA already have too much power. will these response then be lumped as a single response from that organisation. as their response already covers their membership. and on the balance of probability the criminals are largely xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

  2. I’ve only read about 10, but you can deduce the ones that have a vested interest in the SSPCA not being granted additional powers. These responses all seem to have the same wording as if someone has produced a response for them to complete. Are these the people breaking the law, because if you were a law abiding citizen you wouldn’t have anything to worry about, would you.

  3. Very interesting reading, nice to see so many fellow RPS followers views. Basically those of us who say YES are pro wildlife and for the natural environment. Those that say NO are the very people and organisations who get great enjoyment and financial gain out of killing wildlife and destroying the natural environment.

  4. Working my way through, but what stands out to me is that the pro side has a very varied response base. Lots of different phraseology and concerns, they antis are using the same basic phrasing and focusing on the same issues over and over and over again. I’d venture a guess that it is the same as when the Catholic Church campaigned against equal marriage. A set pro-forma and having supporters reword (in some cases not very well) it a little. Definitely block-voting going on there. In fact I think I spied a couple of identical responses too. It would be very interesting to see the post marks on some of the written responses, I bet there would be a remarkable homogeneity in them.

    1. They’ve definitely used a pro-forma and guided their members/supporters on what to say….but no problem with that, we did the same (and a number of those RPS-suggested comments can be seen in some of the responses).

      Sometimes people need help to put together a response and we don’t see anything wrong with that, whichever side of the fence you stand.

      1. Gaah

        “but no problem with that, we did the same (and a number of those RPS-suggested comments can be seen in some of the responses).”

        Never admit that! Or at least never admit that in any publicly accessible fora, certainly don’t spontaneously volunteer it. Good grief, reformist campaigns keep making these same mistakes. Reactionary campaigners have it so easy, hold the party line, “other” the reformists, and keep dissent to a minimum. That is why they keep winning. Publicly the position should be that the anti-additional powers campaign have used a pro-forma and thus is not a true reflection, that the pro-additional powers should be a diverse group speaking from the heart. That is a much more powerful position to take.

        I understand that we want to be fair, being a reformist always means wanting a fairer system, same as being a social conservative means wanting to preserve an advantage inherent in the status quo, but we have to be pragmatic and if we want to win it means taking a leaf out of the playbook of the lobbiests for the status quo.

        1. It would be a bit hard ‘never to admit that’ seeing as the suggestions we made on how to respond to the consultation were posted on the blog!

          That aside, we disagree with your view. The Minister probably couldn’t care less whether pro-formas have been used, nor even the comparative number of pro/anti respondents. It’s not about whether the responses are a ‘true reflection’ – if it was, then the pro would win hands down because there’s a 7,000 strong petition in there saying the SSPCA’s powers should be extended. What it’s actually about is the quality of the responses, not the quantity.

          1. I disagree. Always remember your irregular verbs, you explained the issues. They provided a stock response, he (using name of person leading opposing campaign) goes on a rant. You have to craft a narrative, and also avoid validating an opponents narrative. Actual reality is neither here nor there, it is all subjective. That is why, strong though it may be, the impulse to be honest and reasonable with an opponent must be resisted. That will be used against you, while they continue their own stonewalling response and you’ve accepted their narrative. I’ve seen so many campaigns fall apart because someone opted to use honest and rational behaviour at the wrong moment (that moment is anything before victory, and even for sometime after victory in order to avoid walk-back).

  5. In addition to last. The message from the anti-campaign coordinators seems to have been “focus on snares, really harp on about snares, make it all about the snares”. I don’t quite know what that is about though. Seems to be a lot of fans of snaring responding.

    1. Yes, the focus on snares is amusing. The SSPCA already has powers to investigate offences involving snares – the proposed extended powers won’t make any difference to that, so all this concern about the SSPCA’s alleged ‘impartiality’ due to their anti-snare campaign is a bit of a waste of time!

  6. Many of the hand written NO’s appear to be in the same or similar handwriting and most follow a similar theme referring to snaring, it’s more than likely that the high numbers of these similar replies are part of a concerted effort instigated by person/s with vested interests on the shooting estates etc. Why they should highlight snares in particular is strange considering that the large majority of wildlife crimes concern Raptor persecution, or is this just a red herring put in there to take attention away from their main concern that experienced SSPCA inspectors would have legal access to the estates and be able to arrive on the scene quickly enough to catch them at it .

    With regard to impartiality, why should the SSPCA be impartial when it comes to wildlife crimes, it doesn’t matter whether you are an estate worker, a gamekeeper, a conservationist or Joe Blogs, it you’re committing wildlife crimes you should be apprehended along with all the evidence that’s available at the time and anything else that’s relevant . Unfortunately as we all know, the police should be doing that now, but because they either can’t or won’t the obvious solution is to use the SSPCA.

    There’s only one reason for the shooting fraternity opposing the SSPCA being given increased investigatory powers, that’s the fear of being caught committing a criminal offence breaking the wildlife protection laws.

  7. For all the the shooting fraternity has issued lip service condemning raptor persecution and all the times they have said they deplore it and that it is only a very small minority that are involved, first chance you get to do something positive about it you shun it en masse. you should be ashamed, your honest law abiding members deserve better, we always suspected the rot was at the top and this proves it without doubt, why not complain about the police using special constables too, this would make it even harder to detect wildlife crime

  8. I quite agree with many of the above comments. It reminds me of when I used to tape up two pens together when I got given 200 lines for misbehaving in school! And talking of school, has anyone any idea which Primary School was responsible for the written – or in some cases printed – replies? If anyone has the time or inclination (I haven’t!) try counting how many time snaring is mentioned. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

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