Gamekeepers in Scotland have asked the public not to hamper ‘legitimate moorland activities’ after a number of poisoned baits were disturbed next to a popular walking area.
The baits, which are approved by the Modern Poisoners’ Society to be deployed by trained gamekeepers to control predators such as golden eagles and red kites, were interfered with on a grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park.
The local chapter of the Modern Poisoners’ Society said that those using the moors for access should not handle baits, especially as tampering by non-trained individuals can lead to accidents.
Grampian coordinator Ben D. O’Carb said: “Interference with poisoned baits is illegal and we would appeal to anyone who sees them whilst out walking not to move or handle them, even if they are curious as to why they are there.
These baits are set by trained professionals for a legitimate purpose. Thankfully, the majority of walkers enjoy the moors and are mindful they are places of work as well as recreation. In this particular instance, the disturbed baits were left out in the open, where they were originally placed, and could have posed a danger in an area where there are lots of dog walkers.
We want people to be safe so we would ask members of the public to leave the poisoned baits alone. If they want to find out more about them, they should engage with the gamekeepers who will be able to tell them how and why they are used. The gamekeepers will be easy to spot – they’ll be inside the 4×4 vehicle that’s been following you across the moor for the last hour, just to ensure your safety, obvs.”
“Ps. God bless little angels in heaven“.
Actually, none of the above happened. We just made it up. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.
In other news, the Grampian Moorland Group is urging the public not to tamper with legally-set traps (see here). Those caring, thoughtful, considerate and public-spirited guardians of the countryside are worried that members of the public may be injured if traps are damaged.
Strangely, the article doesn’t mention the risks to the public (adults, children, pets) of touching or standing on an illegally-set spring trap that’s been staked out on open ground, or the potentially fatal consequences of touching an illegally poisoned bait.