Illegal pole trap set next to pheasant pen on Lanarkshire shooting estate

An article was published yesterday on The Ferret website about an illegal pole trap found next to a pheasant pen on an unnamed shooting estate in Lanarkshire.

Unfortunately the article now sits behind a paywall because we’ve viewed our allotted three free articles in one month, so we can’t add the actual link here. Some of you will be able to access the specific article by visiting The Ferret website and searching for it, or you can subscribe and get access to everything they publish.

Here’s an overview of the pole trap incident:

On 7 September 2015 at around 10.30am an investigator from the League Against Cruel Sports (Scotland) found an illegal pole trap that had been positioned next to a pheasant-rearing pen. The trap was set (i.e. the safety catch was off) and had been placed on top of a freshly-dead pheasant.

The investigator phoned the SSPCA who attended the scene at around 1.30pm and said the police should be called.

At 3.09pm, a man arrived at the pen carrying a bag of pheasant feed and was informed an illegal pole trap had been found next to the pen’s entrance door. Despite being warned not to tamper with potential police evidence, the man removed the trap from the pheasant bait and left it dangling from the post. He then entered the pen, fed the pheasants and then left the scene.

Two police officers turned up at 4pm and took the trap away in an evidence bag.

The police subsequently dropped the case.

The League Against Cruel Sports have published a video from the scene – watch it here.

The point being made in The Ferret article is that had the SSPCA been given increased investigatory powers, the SSPCA officer attending the scene would have been permitted to remove the illegal trap and collect it as evidence before the man came along and dismantled it, and the outcome of this case could have been very different.

As regular blog readers will know, we are still waiting for a long-overdue decision from the Scottish Government about whether the SSPCA will be given increased investigatory powers. Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said in January 2017 that a decision would be announced in the first half of 2017.

11 Responses to “Illegal pole trap set next to pheasant pen on Lanarkshire shooting estate”

  1. 3 J .Coogan
    March 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    How can this case just be dropped ? was the man questioned /warned? No wonder the shooting mob treat the “law ” with total contempt ( come to think of it I probably do myself) I will be highlighting this to my MSP (SNP) to encourage more powers for SSPCA, he hasn’t even replied to my previous email.Two way contempt here as well I fear.

  2. 4 Simon Tucker
    March 16, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    The police, once again, show they are more interested in tugging their forelocks to their lords and masters than upholding the law.

  3. 5 crypticmirror
    March 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Try doing something like moving evidence when it is any other crime when there is eyewitness testimony of you doing it and you’d get a charge of perverting the course of justice against you. One law for them…

  4. 6 John McAree
    March 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    the SCottish Government isn’t interested in giving anyone more powers if its likely to cause problems for the powerful (and wealthy) huntin/shootin/fishin classes.

  5. 7 I C T
    March 16, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Your final paragraph states “we are still waiting for a long overdue decision by the Scottish Government”, I suspect following Monday’s announcement, it will become “long, long overdue”!

  6. 8 Jimmy
    March 16, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Police Scotland demonstrate again that they are not up to the job

  7. 9 heclasu
    March 17, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Have either the ‘League’ or the SSPCA challenged the police over this matter? Surely two corroborating witnesses are sufficient for charges to be brought?

  8. 10 John F. Robins
    March 21, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Like heclasu I would have thought that two good eyewitnesses to the deliberate disturbance of evidence of a criminal act would have been enough for the police to bring criminal charges against the alleged criminal who disturbed/destroyed the evidence of a crime. In the article on the Ferret website a Police Scotland spokesperson is quoted as saying; ““Had Police Scotland been informed initially, instead of the SSPCA, it is likely that officers would have attended prior to the suspect removing the trap.” I always advise people who come across a potential crime against animals to call the police on 999 which ensures the call is noted and recorded. Once you report the possible crime ask for the Police Incident Number and note it down. Then you can call back at a later date to find out what the outcome was and details such as when the police actually attended the incident. Don’t forget that Police Scotland are paid from the public purse to deal with all crimes while the SSPCA is not paid from the public purse at all.

  9. April 29, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Wait, so if the trap was placed on top of a dead pheasant, what are they trying to capture anyway? Foxes? And, I apologize for my ignorance, but why is a single trap an issue again?

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