An important wildlife site known as An Camas Mor near Aviemore, within the Cairngorm National Park in Scotland, is currently under threat from a proposed massive development of 1,500 houses. Please watch this video to see the protected wildlife and habitats that will be adversely affected should this development be allowed to go ahead.
It has long been known that badgers are often absent from areas of North east Scotland subject to much snaring.. It has also been reported that "The British badger population probably reached its lowest point in the early 1900s following years of a "systematic campaign of snaring, poisoning and shooting of carnivores..." and at a time when the number of gamekeepers had risen to about 23,000" (see Roper TJ. 2010 Badger; Collins New Naturalist).
The Scotsman report reminds readers that today "All legal snares now set in Scotland must carry a tag giving a unique identification number that identifies the operator to the police."
Pine marten one of the mammal potentially at risk where snares are set at middens near woodland. Photo copyright James Moore.
Moray gamekeeper who set illegal snares fined
By FRANK URQUHART
Published on 07/05/2013 16:46
A MORAY gamekeeper has been fined a total of £1,500 after being convicted of setting illegal snares in a manner likely to cause animals unnecessary suffering.
Brian Petrie, 66, of Woodhead, Dunphail, near Forres, appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court today when he pled guilty to three charges including setting snares likely to cause unnecessary suffering by partially or wholly suspending animals, and failing to release or remove an animal from a snare, contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
His appearance in court followed a lengthy investigation by the Scottish SPCA.
An SSPCA spokeswoman explained: "Inspectors from the Scottish SPCA's Special Investigations Unit found a badger and several foxes dead in Petrie's snares which had been set around a number of middens constructed of trees and baited with animal carcasses."
Mike Flynn, the charity's Chief Superintendent, said: "Petrie is a gamekeeper with over 50 years experience and he had sat his snaring course one year prior to the offences taking place.
"As he was well aware of the regulations regarding snaring it is our opinion that his intention was to capture, cause serious injury and kill animals."
Mr Flynn continued: "The snares were set in an area inhabited by sensitive native species such as the Scottish wildcat, pine marten, deer, otter and badger so there was a high risk of this type of animal being caught, maimed and killed and indeed one badger was found dead at the scene.
"This case highlights, yet again, that snaring is cruel, indiscriminate and unnecessary and the only way to stop animals from suffering in snares is an outright ban."
The leading animal welfare charity launched a renewed call for an outright ban on snares last month after a cat, trapped in an illegal snare, suffered a "prolonged and horrendous" death.The body of the male tabby cat was found trapped by the neck in the snare in the Buckie area of Moray.
At the beginning of April the Scottish Government brought in strict new regulation governing the use of snares in Scotland's countryside. All legal snares now set in Scotland must carry a tag giving a unique identification number that identifies the operator to the police. And only those accredited to have completed a proper training course will be allowed to.
The following letter by BSCG Vice convener Roy Turnbull published in the Scotsman of 2 May 2013 calls on the Scottish Government to rethink the controversial proposals for development of a new town in a National Scenic Area in Strathspey that continues to damage the reputation of the Cairngorms National Park Authority.
All the landscapes here have been described as highly sensitive to new housing development in a landscape capacity study and the proposal was not endorsed by two Planning Reporters who raised multiple concerns.
"Many will welcome the Scottish Government’s recent recognition of the value and fragility of sensitive landscapes, as expressed in its planned ban on wind farms in national parks and national scenic areas (your report, 1 May).
However, this policy sits uneasily with continuing plans for a new town development of 1,500 houses, with associated roads and infrastructure, at An Camas Mor on Rothiemurchus Estate in the Cairngorms National Park.
Rothiemurchus has been described as “one of the glories of wild Scotland” by Sir David Attenborough and the proposed development site, within the National Scenic Area, is presently a sensitive undeveloped area, including regenerating Caledonian pine woods.
Valued landscapes can be degraded by many forms of intrusive development. If the Scottish Government now explicitly recognises this danger with respect to wind farms, is it not time for a rethink on this plan for a new town in the Cairngorms National Park?"
There was a supportive response to this letter by Mike Underwood.
Also Video nasty by Gus Jones of BSCG.
An Camas Mòr - Site Of Proposed 1500 House New Town Development
The treasured landscapes and wildlife of the Cairngorms need your help. Developers are planning a whole new town and several large housing estates in sensitive areas in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. BSCG has joined with the Cairngorms Campaign and the Scottish Campaign for National Parks to challenge this. We are appealing an important point of law in the September 21st 2012 Opinion of Judge Lord Glennie that related to these potentially damaging proposals.
We and our QC respectfully believe that Lord Glennie misinterpreted the terms of the European Habitats Directive relating to the 'appropriate assessments' of Natura 2000 sites.If we win this appeal, which is being heard on March 12th 2013, it will be a significant judgement that should force the Cairngorms National Park Authority to revise its whole approach to safeguarding European sites. More widely it should help to ensure a stronger application of the Habitats Directive that would be more in line with a precautionary approach to planning development.
This challenge comes in the year of ‘Natural Scotland’. It also comes soon after the National Geographic magazine listed the Cairngorms as the only British entry in the Top 50 of the World’s Last Great Places, along with such locations as Madagascar and the Gobi desert.Legal action is serious and expensive: we need to urgently raise £30,000 to cover the cost of the court hearing.
All donations are most gratefully received and can be made by clicking the 'Donate' button to the right. For more information please visit www.safeguardthecairngorms.org.uk