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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

LOCHHEAD TO MEET ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY FOR WILDLIFE CRIME TALKS

29/06/2017  

Richard Lochhead MSP will meet with Roseanna Cunningham this week [Wednesday 24th May]  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 change with the 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 perpetuator 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."

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