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Report shows a marginal increase in Scottish wildlife crime in 2013

Figures published by the Scottish Government showed there were 319 wildlife crime incidents recorded in 2012-13, up from 307 the previous year.

Although the report concluded that levels of wildlife crime in Scotland remained static in the last five years Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse stated: "I remain unsympathetic to those who believe that crimes against wildlife are of little consequence and can somehow be justified." 

Poaching crimes involving fish, deer and coursing were the most common, with more than 40% of all recorded offences relating to salmon and freshwater fisheries; whilst the percentage of people prosecuted for wildlife offences against birds receiving a guilty verdict rose by 4%.

Scottish Countryside Alliance director Jamie Stewart said: "As a member of PAW Scotland we work hard with the Scottish Government and stakeholders to reduce wildlife crime as far as practicable and read encouraging signs within this report. We are pleased to hear the Minister welcome a wide range of evidence gathering in aid of Police Scotland's investigations whilst advocating impartiality. Crimes against wildlife comes in many forms and it would simply be wrong to intimate responsability for certain crimes to certain sectors without evidence to support illegal pratices.

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