Confidential information about an active police investigation on a grouse moor has again been leaked to the media.
This relates to an incident in March at Leadhills Estate where according to the police, some items were removed for scientific analysis and a number of people were detained, but no charges have been made. An anonymous website, allegedly with close links to the animal rights movement, found out confidential information that Government science laboratory analysis of the items had tested positive for carbofuran and published this confidential information, resulting in media coverage on 11th June.
Although there were no birds of prey involved, the whole land management and shooting industry is very concerned about a possible attempted poisoning after such a sharp drop in such incidents over the last three years. However, little is known about the detail of this case and it is vital that nothing is done or said which might risk prejudicing the legal process or cause unjustifiable damage to the reputations of anyone connected to the estate . Questions certainly need to be asked about the leaking and publication of material information about the case while this is still under active police investigation.
The media stories included a comment from Scottish Land & Estates which said: “ It would be inappropriate to comment while the facts of the matter have still be established. As an organisation, we are actively involved in the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime and our membership undertakes an enormous amount of good work in this area.” The Scottish Gamekeepers Association also said "Because this appears to be subject of a live investigation, it would not be appropriate to comment other than to reiterate that the Scottish Gamekeepers' Association does not condone illegal poisoning."