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There has been an increase in the number of wildlife traps being vandalized by activists in Scotland.
As a result, gamekeepers want to speak with the Government, claiming that they are ‘extremely worried’ that ‘lawful businesses’ are being targeted.
Snares – which strangle wildlife to death – are one of the types of traps being damaged by animal rights activists. Affected areas include Perthshire, Angus, and Grampian, among others.
Alex Hogg, is Chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, which represents 5,300 members.
He said: “Some people might not agree with some things, and predator control might be one of those things, but that doesn’t legitimize people vandalizing people’s work tools, or worse, rendering them illegal.
“Members are extremely worried. The situation can’t go on like this. The biggest problem is the law, as written, and the lack of a specific offence.”
“Every time damage or interference is reported, police say no crime has been committed.
“Yet, if a trap was interfered with by a member of the public and a non-target animal was caught in that trap, a gamekeeper could lose his general licence and charges would be brought yet the law wouldn’t touch the person committing the interference. That surely cannot be allowed to continue.
“The police have given some members explanations as to why they cannot act, which we welcome, but it seems their hands are tied as well.”
“One vegan activist responded to the story by saying: “Game keepers are wantonly killing wildlife so that they can preserve certain bird species for people to come and shoot.
“It is our duty – not just as vegans, but as decent people – to help innocent animals avoid slow, agonizing deaths in these traps.”