The long-awaited Scottish Government report on wildlife crime has just been published.
The publication of this annual report became a requirement under the new Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, and this first report relates to wildlife crime incidents recorded in Scotland during 2012. It covers various elements of wildlife crime, including raptor persecution, badger persecution, bat persecution, freshwater pearl mussel persecution and poaching.
As the report has only been published today, we won’t be commenting on it in detail until we’ve had a chance to read and analyse the contents. As you might expect, we’ll be ignoring the gloss of the press release and will be drawing our own conclusions, rather than blindly accepting the usual ‘good news’ spin that typically accompanies this sort of ‘official’ publication.
One thing we did notice straight away though, was that the RSPB has not been acknowledged as a data source. That’s quite interesting, seeing as the RSPB is the ONLY organisation in Scotland to compile comprehensive data on raptor persecution incidents. Instead, the organisations listed include the Scottish Government Justice Department, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Police Scotland, and the National Wildlife Crime Unit. Hmm.
It will be very interesting to compare the number of incidents that have been listed as “police-recorded raptor crimes” with the number of incidents recorded in RSPB Scotland’s 2012 Annual Report, which should be published in the near future.
We’ll be blogging about the Scot Gov annual report in due course. For now, you can read it here: Wildlife Crime in Scotland 2012 Report