Last week I wrote about how former Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, and landowners’ lobby group Scottish Land & Estates had shown complete disregard for the sanction imposed on Moy Estate after raptor persecution crimes had been recorded there (see here).
This week it’s the turn of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) to seemingly turn a blind eye.
Have a look at this event currently being promoted on GWCT’s website:
Regular readers will know that Hilborough House is the home of William van Cutsem. In May this year, police raided the estate after video footage emerged of alleged raptor persecution.
The footage, captured on a secret camera installed by the Hunt Investigation Team, appeared to show a crow cage trap in woodland alleged to be on the Hilborough Estate. The trap had been baited with live pigeons (this is an offence) and a young goshawk was attracted to the bait, entered the trap and then couldn’t escape. A masked man is then recorded entering the trap, pinning the goshawk to the side netting with a stick so he could grab the bird, and then removing it from the trap and walking away with it (also an offence). The goshawk’s fate is not shown.
As far as I’m aware, the police investigation is ongoing.
Mr Van Cutsem hasn’t commented publicly about this investigation although in a classic attempt at diversion, the Mail on Sunday ran a piece quoting ‘an unnamed source close to Mr van Cutsem’ who questioned the relationship between the Hunt Investigation Team and the RSPB:
‘What also is interesting is how close HIT works with the RSPB. It would be good to understand how a mainstream charity is working with a shady group’.
Oh the irony!