Saturday, December 27, 2008

Credit crunch means more poaching

Guardian (UK): A growing demand for cheap meat has spawned a boom in black market game and a rise in organised gangs of poachers operating across Scotland, police have claimed.

According to Scotland's National Wildlife Crime Unit, more than 335 incidents have been recorded in the last 18 months, although many gamekeepers and landowners fear that figure is only a small proportion of the true number of offences. Venison appears to be the top target for gangs as they hunt red, fallow, sika and roe deer, often using illegal weapons, traps and snares which cause unnecessary suffering as wounded animals are left to die slowly.

Grampian, Tayside, Central and Strathclyde police have all experienced poaching in recent months. Many incidents are in rural areas where organised gangs feel they can operate freely with little chance of being caught….

A French caption says, "Always at war with the law, that's the poacher's lot..." An 1881 illustration by Charles Delfort, Wikimedia Commons

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