Wildlife crime fears spark raids by police

Wildlife Environmental Crime Vehicle
Wildlife Environmental Crime Vehicle

A police operation in the Longformacus area on Monday saw land and property searched as part of ongoing efforts to tackle wildlife crime.

Police Scotland confirmed that searches were carried out under warrant and a number of items were recovered for further examination.

The search team was supported by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Birds and other experts.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Inquiries are ongoing, and officers would urge anyone with information regarding wildlife crime to contact us on 101, always dialling 999 if a crime is ongoing, or report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”

The search comes days after the Raeshaw Estate near Heriot had its licence to control wild birds revoked by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Police are now investigating to establish whether any offences have been committed on the 8,000-acre Borders estate.

Scottish Natural Heritage imposed a general licence restriction on the estate in 2015 on the basis of Police Scotland evidence that appeared to show that wildlife crimes had taken place, and a compliance check this month claimed to have found multiple breaches of conditions of an individual licence.