SB Chairman gives evidence to ECCLR Committee

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Our chairman Eddie Palmer gives the background to the recent meeting of The Scottish Parliament's Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee on 10th January 2017...

I was invited to appear before this Committee on behalf of Scottish Badgers, as an interested party to the results of the Scottish Government’s Wildlife Crime Report, covering 2013/14, and 2014/15.

If you are wondering why the interest, most of the NGO’s working in the field of protection of wild animals strongly disagree that Police Scotland either hear about most of wildlife crime, or investigate it! The video of the proceedings amply illustrate these differences!

It is important to understand that the reason such hearings occur is that we have two arms of ‘government’. The report was put together by two bodies, civil servants who serve the government, and are answerable to the Cabinet (Roseanna Cunningham being the Minister in charge), and Police Scotland as one of the executive organisations who do the work.

The ECCLR Committee is composed of MSPs who represent you and me, and make such agencies accountable to them. This accountability is evidence in their scrutiny of what goes on; MSPs react (yes, they do!), to the pressure of their constituents, and this is one of those subjects that fill their e-mail inboxes.

This meeting was rather special – the first time that wildlife NGOs have been able to directly present evidence to the Committee.

The Committee saw a first panel of Police and Crown Office; and a second of myself, RSPB, Bat Conservation Group, and the Scottish Gamekeepers Assn.

I hope you enjoy the 3-hour video!


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