Figures released by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland today (16 October) show there were nine recorded bird of prey crimes in 2017 compared to 14 in 2016.
Their report highlights that the poisoning of birds of prey appears to be in decline in Scotland with 2017 seeing one recorded incident – the lowest figure recorded since PAW Scotland began compiling data from 2004.
BASC Scotland director Dr Colin Shedden said: “One incident is still one incident too many. Any incident of bird of prey persecution is unacceptable and the full force of the law should be felt by anyone who breaks it.
“But we are pleased there has been a fall in the number of recorded bird of prey crimes.
“I think that the consistent standards applied to the recording of these incidents, compared to suspected incidents, means that there has been a significant reduction in the number of recorded offences involving birds of prey.”
Dr Shedden added that a grouse moor review group had been set up and had a remit to look at potential regulatory options for shooting businesses. BASC Scotland is engaged with this review.
BASC vice chairman Eoghan Cameron said: “We have been very public in our condemnation of raptor persecution and we are committed to consigning it to history. Any form of wildlife crime is a blight on the outstanding conservation work that is done in the name of shooting and there is no place for it.”