Scottish Greens hail vital new Scottish SPCA powers to tackle wildlife crime

New powers for the Scottish SPCA will help Scotland to tackle wildlife crime.

The announcement that the Scottish Government will legislate to give additional powers to the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA) to investigate wildlife crime has been hailed by the Scottish Greens. 

The party’s nature spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP, called it “a massive step forward for animal welfare.”

The powers, which will be brought forward as part of the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill, will allow the Scottish SPCA to, in certain circumstances, search, examine and seize evidence in connection with specified wildlife crime offences.

Mr Ruskell said:

“This is a massive step forward for animal welfare, and the protection of the birds and animals that we all love. 

“It is a change that the Scottish Greens and wildlife campaigners have long called for. 

“One of the main reasons wildlife crime is so rife is because the criminals know they can get away with it. These vital new powers will make them think again.

“The Scottish SPCA does a fantastic job but, at present, it is not even allowed to gather evidence to prosecute wildlife crimes, even when they know about them. 

“These powers will give them more bite and will greatly help the police in stopping those that would harm or kill our iconic species and wildlife.

“With these new powers, Scottish SPCA officers can help the police to build a case and catch perpetrators.”