When you stand and watch a person deliberately and knowingly set out an illegal and lethal poison on a hillside you wonder what can bring anyone to the point in his life that they can carry out such a deliberate and indiscriminate attack on wildlife.
And why do people believe that they can break the law and get away with it?
A while ago I stood on a shooting estate in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, just yards from a gamekeeper as I watched him stake a rabbit into the ground which was heavily laced with the highly toxic and illegal poison, Carbofuran. The crime took moments to carry out, but if the poison had been left it could have killed many animals such as birds of prey, badgers, foxes, crows and any other animal that saw the bait as an easy meal. Only quarter of a mile from the site of the poison was a public caravan site and anybody wandering up the hill and making contact with the Carbofuran could have been seriously ill or have even died.
So it was easy enough to do. But the detection of such crimes is not easy due to the isolated locations where these incidents take place. Even when poisoned protected animals are found, then proving who carried out such a serious wildlife crime is almost impossible. In this case, an immediate response from the Scottish SPCA made a huge difference to the final outcome.
Interestingly and possibly tellingly, the reason the gamekeeper gave in court for setting out such a highly toxic and illegal poison was that he wanted to impress his employers. Unfortunately this incident is not an isolated one in the UK. OneKind supports any new legislation which will assure more accountability at all levels, and deter these deliberate crimes against our wildlife.
Please read Libby’s blog for further details on this case.