Wildlife crime: Ruskell hits out at Scottish Government delay on powers

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, has hit out at the Scottish Government for failing to extend the powers of animal charity the SSPCA so they can tackle wildlife crime.

It comes as Holyrood's Environment Committee, of which Mr Ruskell is a member, warns of “alarming distrust” between groups that tackle wildlife crimes. The Committee has written to the Environment Secretary, urging greater cooperation and improved reporting.

Mark Ruskell, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said:

“Killing of wildlife such as rare birds of prey is an utter disgrace and it’s clear that the Police are leaving gaps in their investigatory and reporting work, which is increasing frustration amongst wildlife charities. It’s time for the SSPCA’s well established investigatory role to be extended to wildlife crime to bolster Police efforts. 

"The SSPCA have a respected statutory role in relation to animal welfare cases already. I see no reason why this shouldn’t be extended to wildlife crime. We were promised a decision by the Scottish Government six years ago on the SSPCA’s powers but it has yet to materialise.”