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)