There has been an 8% fall in recorded wildlife crime in Scotland, according to a recent report.
The Annual Wildlife Crime Report is based on data from Scottish Government, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Police Scotland, and also all members of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime Scotland.
The latest report reveals that reported offences have dropped from 284 in 2014/15 to 261 the following year.
Fish poaching apparently remains the most prolific wildlife crime, but still recorded a drop of 26% compared to the year before. However, there was an increase in hunting with dogs offences, rising by 24 offences to a total of 44, which is the highest number over the five-year recording period.
“This fifth wildlife crime annual report provides useful data on the issues we face trying to protect Scotland’s wildlife from illegal activity,” commented Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham.
“It shows a decrease in overall recorded wildlife crime which is welcome,” she said. “However there is no room for complacency. We know from the report published earlier this year that it is very likely that golden eagles and other raptors are being illegally killed every year, but where there is no body or tag to be found, these losses do not make it into the recorded crime figures.”
“I have set out some measures to tackle the issue of missing raptors, including setting up an independent group to examine grouse moor management practices and a new pilot scheme to use special constables to tackle wildlife crime in the Cairngorms Park,” she added. “I am determined to put an end to raptor killing and all other types of wildlife crime.”
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