Levels of fines and custodial sentences
1. That maximum penalties available on summary conviction at
least for the more serious offences, are raised to at least a
£40,000 fine and up to 12 months imprisonment. That
conviction on indictment is more commonly made available across the
range of wildlife offences with a maximum term of imprisonment of
up to 5 years. This would not necessarily require a stand-alone Act
but could be achieved as part of the next Criminal Justice or
Criminal Proceedings Act.
Use of impact statements
2. That the use of conservation/ecological impact statements and
animal welfare impact statements is put on a more systematic basis
than at present. This might initially be done on an administrative
basis with the prosecution seeking these as a matter of course and
where appropriate, from either
SNH in the
former case, or a vet in the latter case.
3. That this requirement is put on a legislative footing along
the lines of the requirement for courts to consider victim
statements before sentencing in other areas of criminal law where
such statements are made available to the court and also providing
the court with a power to order the preparation of such a statement
from a relevant regulatory agency before it passes sentence.
4. That forfeiture provisions are extended and these and other
alternative penalties are made consistent across the range of
wildlife legislation as appropriate.
5. That where a firearm or shotgun is involved in the commission
of a wildlife crime, the court should have the power to cancel the
relevant certificate as is already the case in the Deer (Scotland)
6. That consideration should be given to amending firearms
legislation which is reserved to the UK Parliament to allow the
Chief Constable to withdraw a shotgun certificate where such a
weapon has been involved in the commission of a wildlife crime not
just on grounds of public safety but also on the grounds of a
threat to the safety of wildlife.
7. That the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service should
continue to consider the use of Proceeds of Crime legislation to
the maximum extent possible in appropriate wildlife cases.
8. That wildlife crime offenders should be required to attend
retraining courses, including courses on empathy where appropriate,
either through Community Payback Orders or suspended sentences.
This would require establishing that such courses are available and
raising awareness of such courses amongst the judiciary.
9. That wildlife legislation should be consolidated.
10. That with the establishment of the Scottish Sentencing
Council in October 2015, sentencing guidelines are developed for
wildlife offences in order to enhance the consistency and
transparency of sentencing.