Last month I wrote about how a number of key conservation and animal welfare organisations had apparently been excluded from submitting evidence to the Scottish Government’s independent review on whether the Scottish SPCA should be given increased powers to enable them to investigate a wider suite of wildlife crimes (see here).
A Freedom of Information request had revealed that the non-governmental organisations that had been invited to contribute evidence to the review (Scottish Gamekeepers Association, Scottish Land & Estates, British Association for Shooting & Conservation, and the National Farmers Union Scotland) greatly outweighed the number of conservation/animal welfare organisations invited to participate (limited to the RSPB).
Significantly, a number of important organisations were missing from the list of invited participants, including Scottish Badgers, Scottish Raptor Study Group, OneKind, League Against Cruel Sports, Scottish Wildlife Trust.
It was notable that the pro-gamebird shooting organisations that were invited to participate had all previously been vociferously against giving more powers to the SSPCA (no surprise!) whereas the excluded organisations had all been previously supportive of increased powers.
I wanted to understand whether it was the Scottish Government that had excluded conservation/animal welfare organisations from participating in the review (Scot Gov had previously told me that it had provided a list of ‘key stakeholders’ to the independent Review Chair, Susan Davies FRSB), or whether that decision to exclude them had been made by Susan Davies.
It’s taken the Scottish Government a whole month (!) to respond to my latest FoI with the following:
It appears, then, that the decision to exclude all those conservation and animal welfare organisations from participating in the review was made by the Review Chair, Susan Davies.
This is surprising, given Susan’s long-standing career in nature conservation. However, as I pointed out in an earlier blog, if the independent review DOES recommend increased powers for the SSPCA, then by inviting an overload of anti-SSPCA game shooting organisations, the Review Chair has cleverly covered off any opportunity for them to suggest their views were under-represented in the review process.
Time will tell. We now have to wait for the review to be published, having been submitted to the Scottish Government in October 2022.
7 thoughts on “More detail provided on why key conservation organisations were excluded from Scottish Government’s review on increasing SSPCA powers”
Sadly I do not view the reply as being promising but simply a reflection of how these bodies do business given the huge behind-the-scenes influence our large landholders and financiers wield. Ideed, it could be seen as a microcosm of Westminster at Work.
Time will tell but, in my opinion, what a huge difference it would make in regards to outcomes concerning wild life crime — AND — the morale of many both supporting and working in the field.
How long will the tail continue to wag the dog?
No doubt Susan would have been invited to Victoria Quay for a cup of tea and a dry biscuit…and a wee chat about who to invite. It would be rude to minute a tea break.
Under or over represented; whichever way she plays this they will say their views haven’t been taken into account. Namely the view that the SSPCA should not get any more investigative powers least they find yet more animal cruelty within the shooting industry.
I don’t know how they have the cheek to call it an independent review. It appears to have been rigged at the outset and the outcome can only be biased towards the hunting, shooting and blood sports set. The elite will carry on with their vile acts of cruelty.
“then by inviting an overload of anti-SSPCA game shooting organisations, the Review Chair has cleverly covered off any opportunity for them to suggest their views were under-represented in the review process” – really?
Is there the possibility of the RSPB raising some sort of appeal should the decision go the shooters’ way? The institution’s bias looks obvious from here.
Sauce for the goose…
A crowdfund could be a good option.
Sog, I’d say there is a strong possibility of legal action by some of the excluded groups, depending on what recommendations the review has made. We have to wait for it to be published first, though.