Scottish Land & Estates, which represents landowners across Scotland, said today that the latest RSPB report on wildlife crime confirmed the steep decline in the illegal killing of birds prey.
Douglas McAdam, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said the substantial progress being made in tackling wildlife crime reflects the efforts of organisations such as the Scottish Government police, landowners, gamekeepers, land managers and charities such as RSPB working together through the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime.
Mr McAdam said: “Our members abhor wildlife crime and condemn it out of hand. We are fully committed to its eradication. However, all involved should recognise there has been substantial progress made and this has been clear from the official statistics produced from Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, Police Scotland and the Scottish Government, which show three poisoning incidents and 10 from other forms of illegal killing. The RSPB figures confirm what is already known. We do not believe that because poisoning incidents are now very low indeed that it can be assumed other forms of killing have taken their place. There have been significant reductions in both categories.
“It is right the RSPB report highlights the unacceptability of wildlife crime but we believe it would be more productive if the charity focused more on promoting what can be achieved in tackling the issue rather than trying to point fingers. The implication that this is always the fault of shooting interests is simply not borne out by the evidence.
“There is absolutely no cause for complacency and the most important thing is that all those involved in land management continue to work together to eradicate wildlife crime.”