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Scottish Badgers Spring 2010

North East Man Fined £800

Extract from Scottish Badgers' Spring 2010 Newsletter

This sett [picture provided in newsletter] in an old sand quarry was the scene of the crime where a local shepherd had blocked entrances with stones and wire in an attempt to exclude badgers or trap them within the sett. The location near Sauchen in Aberdeenshire was the site of an old sand quarry and badgers had obviously been in the sett for some time.

The police were called to the locus after it was found to have been interfered with and in investigating further the accused was identified and subsequently charged with offences. The trial took place over several days, four in total, and at the end the accused found guilty of interfering with a badger sett and fined £800. Our thanks go to Grampian Police and all those others involved in bringing this case to a satisfactory resolution. It is a clear message that Grampian Police and the Procurator Fiscal service is committed to clamping down on wildlife crime and the size of the fine no doubt reflects the seriousness with which the courts will deal with offenders.

It is always worth pointing out how hard it is to investigate a wildlife crime and to gather sufficient evidence against an accused person to convince the court beyond all reasonable doubt that they were responsible for the crime. We are aware that our members sometime feel frustrated and disheartened when after reporting an incident which appears, on the face of things, to be quite clear cut fails to make it to court, or where inquiries fail to identify the perpetrator.

We can only take encouragement from this recent case and remind people to report any suspicions they have regarding badger crime to the police as soon as possible through the force control centres and importantly to ensure that when they do so they obtain an incident number. From this we will be able to monitor and Audit what happens with each individual incident.