Wildlife crime penalties

Closed 16 Aug 2019

Opened 19 Jul 2019

Feedback Updated 23 Oct 2019

We Asked

Should we strengthen the protection given wild animals by increasing the maximum penalties available for the most serious wildlife crime offences and extend the time allowed for prosecution of these offences when under summary procedure.

You Said

We received a total of 556 responses to the consultation.  Responses were received from 523 individuals and 33 organisations.

Almost all (97%) were in favour of increasing the maximum penalties for some wildlife offences, for example the injuring or un-licensed killing or taking of wild animals.  Many respondents commented that the current maximum penalties available are too low and that an increased focus on enforcement of penalties would be welcome.

Most respondents (69%) agreed that we should extend the time allowed for prosecution of these offences under summary procedure.  Respondents commented that crimes should be followed up regardless of the length of time elapsed since the offence and noted that it can take considerable time to gather evidence and that existing time constraints may be detrimental with regards to obtaining successful prosecutions.

We Did

These responses have been fully considered and on 30 September 2019, we introduced the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) Bill into Parliament to effect these changes.

The Bill can be found at;

https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/112958.aspx

Results Updated 30 Sep 2019

Analysis of responses to our consultation on proposals to strengthen wild animal welfare legislation by increasing the maximum penalties available for certain wildlife cruelty offences.

Files:

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

This consultation is seeking views on strengthening wild animal welfare legislation by increasing the maximum penalties available for certain wildlife cruelty offences.

Why We Are Consulting

To formally ask for stakeholder and public views on the recommendation made by Professor Poustie in his review of wildlife crime penalties to strengthen the protection given wild animals by increasing the maximum penalties available for the most serious wildlife crime offences.
 
In the 2016-17 Programme for Government, we committed to increasing the penalties for wildlife crime. It's hoped that expert stakeholders involved in the enforcement of wildlife legislation can explain in detail why this commitment could prevent and deter those committing wildlife offences and how it may deal more effectively with those who do.

 

Read the consultation paper. 

What Happens Next

Results will be processed and published. Thereafter the responses will be used to inform instructions to legal colleagues to implement the proposed changes to the various pieces of legislation protecting Scotland's wildlife.

Interests

  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Farming and Rural
  • Law and Order