The wildlife crime seminar was the first of its kind in Scotland. Organised by Fife Partnership for action Against Wildlife crime (FPAW), it was set up to pull together different organisations and individuals who have an interest in reducing wildlife crime.
More than 100 people attended the event spearheaded by Fife constabulary’s wildlife and environmental crime officer P.C. Ian Laing. Gamekeepers, shooting tenants, farmers, landowners, stalkers and others from the rural community listened to Chief Constable Norma Graham’s buoyant speech.
P.C. Laing made a direct plea to the audience for help to tackle deer poaching. D.S Gordon Beveridge discussed rural crime and how metal theft, fuelled by scrap metal prices, was on the increase. P.C. Paul Buttercase talked about FarmWatch, appealing to everyone to join the scheme to help fight rural crime.
After a short break the group was split in two, 75% joined Workshop 2 for the discussions about humane despatch of injured deer at the roadside by John Bruce of the BDS and snaring legislation by BASC’s Kenny Willmitt. Workshop 1 tackled farming operations and Badgers with talks from Ian Hutchinson of Scottish Badgers, Joanna Dick from SNH and Sandy Dean from the Scottish government.
P.C. Laing said, “Tonight has been the start of the change in the relationship with the police, gamekeepers and the rural community. From the overwhelmingly positive feedback received we will see more co-operation and this will serve us well in fighting wildlife crime and the larger picture of rural crime.”
Scottish Land & Estates is represented on the FPAW by Regional Manager Scott Petrie and the meeting was attended by Policy Assistant, Ailsa Anderson.