Statement from Invercauld Estate re: illegal traps

In relation to this morning’s news (here) that illegally-set traps have been discovered on a grouse moor on Invercauld Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, the following statement from Invercauld Estate has just appeared on GWCT’s twitter feed:

Invercauld statement

This is staggering! In one paragraph the estate is denying that this crime ever happened, but then in the next paragraph suggests that if it did happen the evidence was probably planted by someone trying to discredit the grouse shooting industry. Really? Really? Seven hours to think about it and that’s the response? Really?

The RSPB, the SSPCA, and two witnesses (the hill walkers) say it happened (full statement here).

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham believes it happened and has said, “It is difficult to see their use [the illegally-set spring traps] as anything other than a blatant and criminal attempt to target protected birds of prey” (full statement here).

Grant Moir, CEO of the Cairngorms National Park Authority also believes it happened and has asked for a meeting with the Head Trustee of Invercauld Estate, the Sporting Partner on Invercauld Estate, and Police Scotland to improve enforcement measures (full statement here).

So, Police Scotland, over to you. Was evidence of illegal activity found on Invercauld Estate? Emails please to Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham who leads on wildlife crime for Police Scotland:

When you’ve sent your email, please consider signing THIS PETITION calling for the licensing of all gamebird hunting in Scotland.

When you’ve done that, please consider signing THIS PETITION calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting.

Invercauld gull

33 thoughts on “Statement from Invercauld Estate re: illegal traps”

  1. The GWCT: the gift that just keeps on giving! Personally, I love statements like this because it makes the issuers of such drivel look ridiculous and just makes lends support for ‘doing something about it’ to those who may have not got involved previously. Pure comedy genius!

  2. Sadly, the response from the estate is so predictable it’s almost not shocking.

    For centuries these estates have done what they wanted, when they wanted and very few people knew about their atrocities and integrated illegal methods. these landowners are entrenched in practises from centuries ago and still feel they can lie and run rough-shod over everyone else. Well, times have changed and intelligent, informed and forward thinking people will ensure that your outdated, vile practises will be stopped, no matter how much lying the landowners and their associates do.

  3. The statement via GWCT is of course absolute nonsense, and will be seen for that by everyone with an open mind, but I suppose bird botherers just love the idea of laying a row of baited traps on grouse moors and killing birds, don’t they? Perhaps the walkers should be taken into custody, no?
    Or perhaps a statement from Scottish Land and Estates or the Scottish Moorland Group would be good, asking for permission to search bird botherers for traps and baits.
    I’m very heartened by the statement from Roseanna Cunningham and particularly that from Grant Moir, CEO of the Cairngorms National Park Authority. Their involvement could I feel add a great deal to the pressure on all estates to stop what Invercauld seem to be denying.

  4. Well, I was going to say “I can’t believe the bare-faced lying!” But of course I CAN believe it!

  5. Sorry, another thought.
    I believe traps are required to be marked with a number, and other specific marks.
    Was this trap so marked, I wonder, or do estates have stocks of unmarked traps for use in illegal circumstances?
    Perhaps bird botherers have such stocks, or they steal marked traps they find on estates for use in these circumstances.
    o.k. I’ve convinced myself it does not move us forward, whether it was marked as required or not.
    However, it is a pity all the traps were not discovered and the markings photographed on the day. Let’s just hope Roseanna gets the finger out and does the right thing to allow SSPCA to investigate. What is she waiting for?

    1. No, there is no legal requirement to attach identifying tags to spring traps. In Scotland, only snares have to be tagged with an individual user-ID tag. Crow cage traps must also have a tag, but this is only to identify the estate, not the individual trap user.

      1. Just wait for it… Scottish Governemnt and SNH will announce that they will solve this problem by requiring traps to have ID tags…. and then suggest that they will need to monitor it for a few years…… here comes the stall……. while Mr Nobody continues to set illegal traps to keep the moor clear…

  6. I think the statement is actually quite clever. The way the media (in particularly social media, but newspapers and TV news also) works is that when something happens, a plethora of responses merely turn it all to mud. Any suggestion of anything, true or false, just escalates and as such, the inference that the trap was set by a third party “intending to discredit the grouse industry”* will quickly become a meme that will be re-distributed endlessly and become harder and harder to refute.

    If there’s one thing that politics this year has taught us, it’s that facts are utterly irrelevant.

    If I were in charge of google, the one thing I’d be willing to spend billions of shareholders dollars on would be some kind of algorithm that ranks search results by their truth … rather than their popularity.

    1. Sadly true, they have been quite active on the RSPB Scotland fb page with a mini offensive that this was a set up, stinks, work of antis etc ad nauseum.

  7. DNA samples off the traps, and the posts on which they were found. Samples from the employees of the estate/tenant. Check one against the other…simples.

  8. I see the estate’s statement was made at 4:45 this morning. Does this mean the estate knew all about it earlier or that GWCT don’t know how to set the clock on their ‘poota?

    In any case does acting as the mouthpiece for Invercauld fit with any of their charitable objectives. Including rather strangely “To conserve game and wildlife…in particular where the natural habitat is situated in the vicinity of a landfill site.” That’ll be to milk the landfill tax disbursement then!

  9. The wording ‘re training sounds like a direct attempt to avoid vicarious liability. An atrocious response.

  10. Cleverly worded. The Police found no evidence of illegal activity. Of course they didn’t, it was gone by the time the cops got there. The SSPCA on the other hand did, and I notice they are not mentioned. Did the SSPCA officer seine the trap as evidence in a possible prosecution?

  11. The worrying part of that statement is “We understand the police have not found evidence of illegal activity”. There are a number of ways of taking that…the most benign being “the police didnt find evidence but the SSPCA and RSPB did”…which would just be shockingly evasive. If the police however told the estate that they had not found evidence of illegal activity…then the police need questioned by a higher authority… Ive said before many times in such situations, the claim of “planting evidence” is the stuff of petty criminals – the next question should be, how did the hillwalkers know where to look in a huge landscape? is of course, complete nonsense.

  12. Ah, the old ‘ it wasn’t me gov’ excuse, happy to see nobody believes that. What cretins, makes a mockery of all that expensive schooling !

    LAND REFORM NOW please.

  13. This is the response of Jamie Stewart, a Director at Scottish Countryside Alliance, posted on retired Gamekeeper Bert Bunett’s page , in response to a bird being caught in an illegal trap on Invercauld Estate. Not exactly penitent, is he?

    “Here’s a wee tool kit for you to apply when you try to fathom the apparently widely differing statements or viewpoints within RSPB propaganda.

    S stands for Source. Who is providing the information?
    M is for Motivation. Why are they telling me this?
    E represents Evidence. What evidence is provided for generalisations?
    L is for Logic. Do the facts logically compel the conclusions?
    L is for Left out. What’s missing that might change our interpretation of the information?
    Apply this little test whenever you next read a headline grabbing statement from the RSPB calling persecutions and demanding action. If it smells bad, it usually is…”

    Where the leaders go the mob follows. Be prepared for more abuse.

  14. I tried to search around to look for membership of “Wildlife Estates” but thei WE website does not seem to list membership. I couldnt find a list via facebook. How do we know who is accredited and who is not?

  15. From the Invercauld Estate website: ‘This offers the chance to be amongst some of the country’s finest scenery and also the chance to view some of the more elusive birds and animals including eagles, red squirrels, ptarmigan, red and roe deer.’ Poppycock!

    They also have the gall to state that they have ‘great respect for the natural environment’. Poppycock! They have zero respect and only manage this estate as a playground for the wealthy. They manage the area like it’s a zoo containing only the wildlife of their choice.

  16. Their statement is simply ludicrous. Surely the gull in an illegally set trap which we can all plainly see in the photographs is a “sign of illegal activity”. Are they really suggesting some nefarious persons nipped out to set 8 or 9 traps with the intention of discrediting the grouse industry but when the dirty deed was discovered used the hiatus of several days to pop out again to remove the other traps to reduce the impact of the faux crime? Why exactly would they do that?

  17. You have got to say This is a Typical Hypocritical Statement from these Untouchables,even when the Evidence is there for all to see ,ie a Common Gull still alive caught with both legs broken ,and clearly set right in the open ie with no cover ,baited with dead Rabbit,the intentions are Clearly Aimed at trapping Raptors plus any other Bird or Animal that comes along ! And the Sheer arrogance to say it was an Alleged Offence !! later in the statement to push the blame on someone else ( if it did indeed happen ! ) ,who incidently must be Superhuman to not only set all these traps and then manage to come back and remove all the other traps without their gamekeepers even noticing WOW !! Bloody Typical ,SOMETHING STINKS HERE AND IT’S NOT THEIR STINKS PITS !!!

  18. George – that ‘SMELL’ acronym works both ways. Someone with better knowledge than I have should use it on the original statement.

  19. First cuckoo I have heard for sometime!!! Simply pathetic – but alas, predictable. The whole case reeks of collusion – again!

  20. This is a good example of the ‘deny everything ,at all costs’ strategy which is so often used by those that are committing wildlife crime or are seeking to condone it.

    Same people that attempt to discredit figures, population counts and scientific findings….

    It is disgusting that certain politicians would chose to side with these common criminals that are decimating our most protected species.

    Grubby industry

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