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Publication - Report

Wildlife crime in Scotland: 2015 annual report

Published: 25 Nov 2016
Part of:
Environment and climate change, Law and order
ISBN:
9781786526199

The fourth wildlife crime annual report, this highlights new data from the financial year 2014 to 2015.

70 page PDF

2.4MB

70 page PDF

2.4MB

Contents
Wildlife crime in Scotland: 2015 annual report
6. Scottish Government

70 page PDF

2.4MB

6. Scottish Government

This section lays out details of specific projects carried out by the Scottish Government over the time period of this report.

Wildlife Crime Penalties Review

A review group was set up by Scottish Government in 2014 to look at the penalties for wildlife crime offences and determine whether or not they were appropriate. The group was chaired by Professor Mark Poustie of Strathclyde University and included representatives from law enforcement, government, land management and ornithology groups.

The review group published its report on 19 November 2015, setting out ten recommendations. The report concluded that penalties for wildlife crimes had fallen behind those for other types of environmental crime, and that fine levels for many of these crimes have not kept pace with inflation.

As well as increases to the maximum available penalties, the report also recommended greater use of alternative penalties such as forfeiture, systematic use of impact statements in court, new sentencing guidelines, and consolidation of wildlife legislation.

The then Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod, accepted the group's findings and committed to taking forward a number of recommendations including:

  • Increasing the maximum penalties for wildlife offences to £40,000 and/or 1 year imprisonment, to bring them in line with other environmental offences;
  • Greater use of alternative penalties such as the forfeiture of equipment used to carry out offences;
  • Greater use of impact statements in court to better explain the impact a wildlife crime may have;
  • Exploring the creation of new sentencing guidelines.

Further details, including the group's full report and the Minister's response, can be the PAW Scotland website.

Pesticides Disposal Scheme

Following several illegal wildlife poisoning incidents, including the mass poisoning of red kites and buzzards in Ross-shire in early 2014, the then Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse announced a free scheme to encourage those in possession of illegal pesticides to get rid of them, safely and confidentially with the aim to remove these dangerous poisons from Scotland's environment.

The free, confidential scheme funded by the Scottish Government, was operated and administered with the help of NFU Scotland, and promoted by other PAW Scotland land management stakeholders. It ran from the period 23 February to 29 May 2015.

191 collections were carried out by SEPA-approved waste disposal companies, removing hundreds of kilograms of dangerous illegal pesticides from Scotland's environment. Table 22 provides a breakdown of the substances safely disposed of through the scheme.

Table 22: Summary of pesticides removed through 2015 disposal scheme

Pesticide (Active Ingredient)

Stocks Collected

Percentage of all stocks collected

Total Estimated Weight (kg)

Sodium Cyanide

110

47.6%

482

Strychnine

68

29.4%

5

Aluminium Phosphide

17

7.4%

44

Carbofuran

10

4.3%

107

Mevinphos

9

3.9%

29

(Alpha)Chloralose

8

3.5%

8

Aldicarb

5

2.2%

30

Unknown

4

1.7%

16

Totals

231

722

Note: Carbosulfan, Isofenphos and most Bendiocarb products were also accepted through the scheme, however no verified requests for collection of these substances were received.


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