The Scottish animal welfare charity OneKind has published its formal response to the public consultation on whether the SSPCA should be given increased powers for investigating more types of wildlife crime.
It’s an intelligent and coherent response, in full support of the proposed changes. Interestingly, they’ve provided data (sourced from the Crown Office) which show a startling comparison of successful prosecutions and convictions in animal welfare cases investigated by the police and those investigated by the SSPCA. Unsurprisingly, the SSPCA’s performance is significantly stronger than that of the police; exactly what you’d expect from a specialist agency like the SSPCA.
There’s also acknowledgement of the SSPCA’s long-term experience in investigating crimes against animals (since at least 1912) and a strong rebuttal against the accusation that the SSPCA is ‘unaccountable’.
It’s well worth a read: here.
Meanwhile, the Scottish landowners’ representative body, Scottish Land & Estates, has published its concerns about the proposals (here). These concerns centre on seven questions, including whether there’s a ‘need’ for increased powers because “wildlife crime incident [sic] are now lower than when the idea was first put forward“.
Oh dear. Increasingly desperate scrabbling from SLE – not quite as hysterical as the SGA’s response but nevertheless an indication that the game-shooting lobby would not be happy having an additional 60+ highly trained, highly experienced wildlife crime investigators on the ground. Can’t think why.
Neither SLE or the SGA has published their formal response to the consultation but we look forward to reading them, and the responses of other game-shooting organisations such as the GWCT, when the Scottish Government publishes all the responses later this autumn.
The public consultation closes tomorrow (Monday 1st September). If you want to have your say and influence government policy on how wildlife crime is addressed in Scotland, leading to an inevitable increase in the number of wildlife criminals being brought to justice, please click here.