Endangered species 'on the brink' following extensive trap vandalism across the uplands
Illegal trap vandalism is rife across the uplands with endangered species being pushed to breaking point and costing land managers tens of thousands of pounds a year.
The most common act of trap vandalism has traditionally been a criminal dropping a rock and smashing the trap but they now seem to have upgraded their technique by using angle grinders to cause maximum destruction, as the above photograph demonstrates.
Trapping is widely used across the conservation industry to protect endangered species and migratory birds, control destructive invasive species and restore the health of species in decline.
Ian Wilson, NFU North Highland representative and Highland Partners Against Wildlife Crime chairman, commented: "The use of traps to aid control of vermin is an essential and legal practice, all users are reminded to use responsibly and check frequently as the law states. Other people are to be reminded that to interfere with these legally set traps is an offence and they will be open to prosecution if found to be damaging or interfering with traps."
Increasingly land managers are taking their own measures to ensure criminals carrying out such acts are caught and prosecuted. We will publishing the information of those arrested and prosecuted in the future, but in the meantime we encourage all our readers to provide us with any information that might be helpful on those individuals responsible for trap damage.