Richard Lochhead MSP to meet Environment Secretary today to discuss wildlife crime

Richard Lochhead MSP, who represents the SNP in Morayshire, continues to impress.

Last night, he posted the following on his Facebook page:

Richard Lochhead MSP will meet with Roseanna Cunningham tomorrow to discuss the need for more to be done to catch those who commit wildlife crime.

Mr Lochhead’s meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Climate Change follows his exchange with Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions, where he highlighted the disappointment at the Crown Office’s decision to drop the case relating to the alleged illegal killing of a hen harrier in the Cabrach in 2013.

Moray’s MSP has been contacted by many constituents who were shocked that the Crown Office had taken the view that video footage supplied by RSPB Scotland was inadmissible despite such evidence being accepted in the past.

Whilst Mr Lochhead welcomes the progress that has been made by the Scottish Government in recent years in tackling wildlife crime, he will convey to the Cabinet Secretary that the Crown Office must take into account how difficult it can be to detect wildlife crime given that it most often takes place in remote areas and that they must ensure the justice system doesn’t miss opportunities to hold to account those who illegally kill endangered species.

Former Environment Secretary and Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said:

The justice system needs to reflect the fact that wildlife crime often occurs in very remote areas and therefore every scintilla of evidence must be captured and used in the courts given how difficult it is to gather in the first place.

The alleged perpetrator caught on film who appears to have shot and killed a protected hen harrier in my constituency probably can’t believe his luck that he’s getting away with it. When the public view with their own eyes video footage showing an alleged crime being committed they expect it to count in the courts.

It’s clear we need a further package of measures to build on the good work already underway to tackle wildlife crime in Scotland. Nothing should be ruled out at this stage including the enhanced use of cameras by the authorities at nesting sites and improved enforcement and deterrents“.


Richard has been tweeting about this (@RichardLochhead) as has his Moray Parliamentary Office (@MorayParlOffice). If you’re on Twitter, or Facebook, please drop him a line to thank him for his interest and his efforts.


6 Responses to “Richard Lochhead MSP to meet Environment Secretary today to discuss wildlife crime”

  1. May 24, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    That’s the political reality – constituents are concerned & [ unbiased ] elected representatives take action.
    This is what we need to move forward.
    Education of the public needs to move up a gear & requires mass media involvement.

    Keep up the pressure !

  2. 2 Tony Warburton MBE
    May 24, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    He should be knighted. A brave and honest politician at last.

  3. 3 Greer Hart, senior
    May 24, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    I would not be too jubilant that Richard Lochhead has expressed dissatisfaction over the bringing of wildlife criminals to court and their being found innocent, xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx. In my old days of anti-foxhunting, the “good” would sotto voce tell us of their sympathy for our cause, but they had to go through the motions of playing hard with us. Other cops would be obviously in league with hunt followers, and would swiftly react to any little “offending behaviour” from our side, sometimes leading to a weekend in a police station. The impression gained was of a tight knit community, something like one finds in films about the Deep South, where the Ku Klux Klan held sway.

    How can we hope to have our cause of bringing the effective arraignment of those committing wildlife crimes, when so much is stacked against us? It seems that Police Scotland has not been a success, and its monitoring body has been accused of being too secretive, with a female member resigning and claiming she was only there for diversity (she is of Asian origin). Now we have the terror attack in Manchester, and armed police outside Holyrood, which means that wildlife crime may be getting buried, along with other non-priority crime. xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx How many of our ardent wildlife crime reporters have been ignored, and how many police officers have been told to ignore such reports, by their superior officers? Also, any read through a Scottish newspaper, will reveal the whole spectrum of violent crime being committed. Yet, many are those who have been enraged, on reading that some criminal has been released after only serving a fraction of a hefty sentence, and gone and done another stabbing or robbery with violence. How can we hope to achieve success in punishing wildlife criminals, when sentencing is only a fine that will be paid for them? We need to campaign for prison sentences that will be served to full term, and indeed, that should be for all serious crimes. Killing endangered species is a serious crime, and we must work to get the public to see it that way. Brexit is another smokescreen for the blood sports characters to push attention away from their activities. If we do not develop a strategy to eventually bring justice for our cause, then we will all end up in the padded room with a straight-jacket on. Someone will have to arrive on our scene who can bring all those who want a solution to the saving of our Birds of Prey, and for an unbiased rural police force operating to protect humans and wildlife in our countryside. Mr Lochhead and people such as he, could help form the nucleus of the force needed to crack the “mafia” that seems to operate in Scotland, as far as blood sports are concerned.

  4. 4 Merlin
    May 25, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Exceptionally well done that man, i do hope he can gather some more support as we will need it, please don’t forget what happened at Westminster. Massive respect for Scotland though again for leading the way forward, however when the rest of the world has been using covert surveillance to trap criminals for getting on close to a century now, ie phone tapping on organised crime in Chicago USA (the original untouchables) during the 1930’s, today’s untouchables appear to have twisted the law in their favour, why would clear video evidence be ruled inadmissible? why would someone donate a large sum of money to the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, true they have a team of top Barristers at their disposal to defend their members, how much public money do these people donate elsewhere? Why does the Crown office not give reasons to why it has dropped cases, you can see the unanswered questions backing up, We jokingly called Grouse moor owners the untouchables a few years back as the crimes mounted up without any prosecutions, today the situation has actually got worse, Al Capone the infamous mobster who was the original “Untouchable” actually believed the public loved him, these Grouse moor owners have the same egotistical traits, nobody likes them yet no one will speak out, Capone eventually got apprehended on tax evasion, please God send the inland revenue into some of the offshore tax haven companies that own these Grouse moors and get the benefit cheats on some misdemeanor.
    Apologies I went off on a tangent :)

  5. May 25, 2017 at 8:05 am

    killing wildlife for fun should be made illegal. tax avoidence too. habitat being built on with developers taking no interest in preserving wildlifel by planting some treesl and leaving wildlife corridors . truly its only money that counts. [Ed: part of comment deleted – off topic] the atitude towards wildlife protectors is puzzling. at 71 yrs old I am treated as a terorist even speaking about this subject. Do not like England now.

  6. May 28, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    The only way to stop wildlife crime is a peasants revolt and confiscate their land, Richard has made a stand but don`t expect too much!!!!

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