Scottish Land & Estates , which represents 2,500 landowners across Scotland, said today the conviction of Tom McKellar underlined the need for ‘cool heads and hard facts’ in the debate over wildlife crime.
Following the conviction of McKellar, a shepherd, for the possession of the illegal pesticide carbofuran, Douglas McAdam, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Our members are committed to the eradication of wildlife crime and the possession and use of illegal pesticides is to be condemned out of hand. This was a very high profile case and when it first emerged a golden eagle had been found poisoned there was a knee jerk response from some quarters trying to imply that landowners or country sports would most likely be involved in some way. This, of course, is not the case here and it demonstrates the need for cool heads and hard facts when these dreadful incidents occur. As an organisation we are enthusiastic members of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime and we firmly believe that a partnership and evidence-led approach is the right way to go. This approach is already showing results as can be seen by the marked decline in the number of poisoned birds of prey in Scotland and long may that continue.”