Sadly, crimes against Scotland’s wildlife continue to be an all too common occurrence and affect a wide range of wildlife and habitats.
Wildlife crimes range from the illegal trade in endangered species to hare coursing and egg collecting. They can result in animals suffering cruel and inhumane deaths and can make endangered species even rarer.
We work with Scottish Government, the police, land managers and other conservation organisations to tackle wildlife crime. We do this by being a member of The Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime in Scotland – PAW Scotland, by being expert witnesses to the police, and by raising awareness of the types of crimes that occur.
Tackling wildlife crime requires steps that focus on prevention, intelligence gathering and enforcement by Police Scotland and the Crown Office.
Reporting a wildlife crime
If you witness a suspected wildlife crime in action or a suspect is nearby, call 999 immediately and ask for the police. For all other enquiries, the non-emergency 101 number should be used to contact your local police. If you feel that you would rather remain anonymous, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
As the police are the lead enforcement agency for wildlife crime, you should also follow up by ensuring that the appropriate regional Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer has been informed that a wildlife crime has been reported.
Priorities for tackling wildlife crime in Scotland
PAW Scotland tackles a broad front of wildlife crime and priorities and actions being taken are detailed on the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit website. These include actions against illegal pearl fishing, badger baiting or interference with badger setts, disturbance to bats, raptor persecution, poaching of deer or fish and hare coursing, as well as crimes involving the misuse of traps and snares.