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Launch of Tayside Partnership Against Wildlife Crime

News release by Tayside Police

11 August 2010

Minister for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham MSP made a special trip to Montrose Basin Visitor Centre today to officially launch the local Tayside Partnership Against Wildlife Crime group.

The Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime is a multi-agency body comprising representatives of the organisations involved in wildlife law enforcement in the UK. It provides opportunities for statutory and non-Government organisations to work together to combat wildlife crime. Its main objective is to promote the enforcement of wildlife conservation legislation, particularly through supporting the networks of Police Wildlife Crime Officers, Scottish National Heritage, the RSPB, Scottish Gamekeepers Association and land owners, amongst others.

Superintendent Ewen West, Deputy Divisional Commander in Angus, said,

"Tayside Police is committed to working with all agencies across the wide range of wildlife, environmental and countryside interests.

"We aim to continue developing effective partnerships, promote preventive strategies and encourage educational initiatives that improve the understanding of wildlife crime issues in Tayside and beyond.

"Wildlife crime can involve anything from poisoning a golden eagle to cracking open freshwater pearl mussels. Rare species are put at risk, more familiar animals and birds suffer cruel torture and death. Wildlife crime threatens a far greater range of creatures and plants than people imagine, even damaging the environment on which they depend.

"We have to come together to fight this crime against Scotland, to co-ordinate and promote best practice to prevent and detect such crimes and enhance already established educational projects."

Minister for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham said,

"I'm greatly encouraged by the launch of the Tayside Partnership Against Wildlife Crime and hope it will help create a safer environment for all of our plants and animals.

"The partnership is a vital tool in enforcing wildlife crime legislation and will also build on the good work already done in the area through Operation Countrywatch.

"There is no place for crimes against wildlife in a modern Scotland. I firmly believe that this type of collaborative working is necessary to help eradicate the illegal killing of some of our most iconic species."

Tayside PAW is in its infancy and will develop over the coming months. Anyone interested in the work of the local PAW Tayside group should get in touch with Alan Stewart, Wildlife Liaison Officer with Tayside Police , on (01738) 892650.

ends

More information

More information on Tayside PAW will soon be available on the Tayside Police website.

Information about local groups across Scotland will soon be available on this website alongside the information we already provide on the work of the PAW Sub-groups.