Picture courtesy of www.northeastwildlife.co.uk

Picture courtesy of www.northeastwildlife.co.uk

A recently-published RSPB report on the illegal killing of birds of prey in Scotland fails to credit the countryside community for its part in the recorded decline in such offences over the last 20 years.

The report highlights the total number of birds killed between 1994 and 2014 but does not analyse a crucial trend which shows overall reductions in recorded wildlife crime offences and a decrease in crimes against birds. For example, the number of poisoning incidents involving birds of prey fell from 19 in 2009-10 and 24 in 2010-11 to 4 in 2012-13 and 6 in 2013-14.

BASC condemns all acts of illegality in the countryside, is an active participant in the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime in Scotland and expels members found guilty of such crimes.

Dr Colin Shedden, BASC’s director in Scotland, said: “It is disappointing that the RSPB has chosen to omit the good news that raptor persecution is in long term decline. The partnership working that we have in Scotland is delivering welcome reductions in a range of wildlife crimes, including poaching, hare coursing and raptor persecution.

“BASC strives for high standards in all aspects of shooting and its associated land management activities and we will not tolerate the small number of individuals who feel that breaking the law, and killing protected birds, is acceptable.”

Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

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