SLE statement on wildlife crime report 2019/2020

Press Release

Following the publication of the 2019/2020 annual wildlife crime report today by the Scottish Government, Scottish Land & Estates has issued the following statement.

Sarah Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “We share the Scottish Government’s ambition to address the biodiversity and climate change crisis - and tackling wildlife crime is part of that action. 

“There is no place for wildlife crime of any sort in Scotland. However, today’s report does demonstrate the progress that has been made over the past decade, with overall recorded offences significantly lower than they were five years ago.

“There has been an increase in hare and deer coursing. Instances of raptor persecution also rose slightly from the previous 2018/19 report, partly attributable to an unusual case targeting red kites in Dumfries & Galloway. There can be no room for complacency and SLE and its members are committed to doing all we can to help prevent, detect and prosecute those responsible for wildlife crime.

“As the government moves to introduce various new wildlife legislation measures, we are frustrated that statistics covering the period 2019/2020 are only now being published two years later. We know that valuable headway continues to be made on tackling wildlife crime and it is crucial that if legislation is to be introduced then it should only be pursued with timeous data available.”