Parliamentary questions on proposed new offences for trap damage

At the beginning of May we blogged about the Scottish Gamekeepers Association’s claims that it was currently ‘negotiating with Government’ for the creation of a new offence relating to trap damage (see here).

[A spring (Fenn) trap set on a log, designed to catch and kill any animal that stands on the trigger plate. Gamekeepers argue that traps like these, and others, are routinely damaged by members of the public. Photo from the Untold Suffering report published by the Revive Coalition last year. NB: It is no longer legal to use Fenn traps for killing stoats in the UK as they have been ruled inhumane – new trap designs have recently been approved (see here)]

This claim of apparent ‘negotiation’ with the Government is of particular interest, given the Scottish Government’s longstanding and ongoing failure to bring in legislation to licence grouse moor management, despite endless reviews and mountains of evidence, collected over many years, that demonstrate a clear and unequivocal link between grouse moor management and illegal raptor persecution.

It looks like we’re not the only ones with an interest in these claimed ‘negotiations’. Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell has lodged the following Parliamentary questions:

S5W-28828: To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the Scottish Gamekeepers Association regarding creating offences and sanctions in relation to animal trap damage, broken down by (a) date and (b) location of discussion.

S5W-28829: To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to change the law in relation to the wilful damage of animal traps.

Answers to these questions are due by 19 May 2020.

UPDATE 16 May 2020: Scottish Government denies ‘negotiating’ with gamekeepers on new offences for trap damage (here)

8 thoughts on “Parliamentary questions on proposed new offences for trap damage”

  1. Would it be an offence to set off banned traps.
    Or make them unusable…
    As it is virtually impossible to get police to attend, let alone crime the presence of such banned devices.

  2. It will be interesting to see if this gets into law how certain police forces approach applying the law compared with their “approach” to investigating and cracking down on the activities of rogue gamekeepers in and around these same areas

  3. Presumably they presented lots of evidence to substantiate their claims of damage to traps (to Govt.)? I mean trailcam footage &c. not just old broken traps, otherwise just wasting Government time again with distraction tactics from addressing illegal raptor persecution, that is to say crimes that are on the statute books already.

    Well done to Mark Ruskell, wait update with interest.

  4. Am I missing something here ? Damaging or vandalising anything is surely an offence . However triggering a spring trap is or isn,t an offence at the moment depending on who you listen to . Can anyone clarify the law on that aspect ? The new traps now being used for stoats are far more expensive that Fenn traps and if damaged would be costly to replace . Or perhaps the SGA,s concern relates to Larsen , Clam or crow traps ? The Govt. reply to Mark Ruskell might not make us any the wiser as to exactly what the SGA want changed to the present legal arrangements .

  5. We appear to be going backwards here – why is this even being considered? Someone is giving the gamekeepers far too much of a listening to…wasting valuable parliamentary time with a very minor issue like this. It couldnt be that they are trying to distract MSPs from that elephant in the room called raptor persecution, surely??

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