Scottish Gamekeepers Association silent as Government report confirms increase in raptor crime

Yesterday we blogged about how the Scottish Government’s latest annual wildlife crime report (2018) had shown that raptor persecution crimes have more than doubled since the previous year’s report (see here).

And despite the Government’s decision to publish this report when everyone had already packed up and gone home for Xmas, it still drew a headline in The Scotsman on Xmas Eve:

This reported increase in raptor persecution offences won’t have come as a surprise to blog readers – the relentless crime wave had already been reported by the RSPB’s annual Birdcrime report, back in August – see here.

The media coverage of the Birdcrime report was good, both in England and Scotland, and, unsurprisingly given the occupation of the majority of convicted offenders, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) was asked by the Independent to provide a quote about the crime increase. It included this little gem:

So, the SGA refused to comment on the increase in raptor crime because the RSPB’s figures were somehow ‘unofficial’ – despite the RSPB being the only organisation in the country to compile these figures and rigorously categorise them using a three-tier classification system which is scientifically legitimate and provides a clear indication of interpretation limitations.

Not that the SGA would be concerned about scientific legitimacy – remember this is the organisation that lobbied the Government about the so-called threat posed by sea eagles to babies and small toddlers. No, the SGA just didn’t want to acknowledge that raptor crime had doubled in the last year and if there was an opportunity to have an unveiled dig at the RSPB at the same time then all the better.

So here we are, several months later and the Scottish Government’s own report – the ‘official’ statistics – show that reported raptor persecution crimes did indeed more than double in a year.

And the SGA’s response to this news?


Just what you’d expect from an organisation purported to be a fully signed up member of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime, eh?

2 thoughts on “Scottish Gamekeepers Association silent as Government report confirms increase in raptor crime”

  1. Good for you RPUK getting the boot in about the SGA’s ridiculous statement about sea eagles posing a possible threat to babies and small children. That wasn’t a one off, someone having a bad day that was emblematic of their incredible stupidity, pathetic attempt to smear and also utter hypocrisy. How many people have been seriously injured or killed due to road collisions with the ludicrously bloated red deer population in Scotland thanks to our stalking estates which not only refuse to carry out adequate culls, but also put out supplementary feed in winter? There’s an awful long list of things to hate about the huntin, fishin, shootin set in this country, but at the very top of it is public safety being sacrificed for open hill deer stalking – up to and including increased human mortality! I never lose an opportunity to remind the SGA that if it thinks sea eagles could snatch small children why isn’t it concerned about the people who actually die when a red deer comes through their windscreen? They have great difficulty responding.

  2. Their response is entirely predictable. It is clear that they see the RSPB as their main “problem”, as they have the skills, personnel and intent to highlight the crimes perpetrated against our wildlife. One does wonder just how many of their members indulge in criminal activities, how many are disgusted that the body that represents them is so transparently indifferent to that criminality, and how many are supportive of the efforts of the RSPB, RPUK, WildJustice etc.? Perhaps they could survey their membership?

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