People convicted of wildlife crimes such as deer poaching, hare coursing, killing badgers or birds of prey should receive bigger fines and longer prison sentences than currently available says Scottish Land & Estates (SLE), the organisation which represents landowners and rural businesses.
Following an evidence session with the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Committee today (10 December 2019), SLE says that those who undertake illegal acts should face strong penalties proportionate to the crime and in line with those for similar crimes, with sanctions applied consistently & clearly to act as a real deterrent.
SLE also says that to successfully fight wildlife crime, education of what wildlife crime is and the impact, awareness of the possible maximum penalties along with more training and support for police officers to assist with detection are vitally important.
Karen Ramoo, Policy Adviser at Scottish Land & Estates who gave evidence today at the committee, said: “We need to send out a clear message that wildlife crime of any kind is absolutely unacceptable, and these reckless acts will not be tolerated. That is why we are calling for longer prison sentences and bigger maximum fines for the most serious wildlife crimes, to act as a deterrent.