Today OneKind has published Lonely Scotland – A guide to hunting, trapping and wildlife persecution in Scotland. You can order your copy here.
The OneKind team are often asked about traps. Ramblers, mountain bikers, dog walkers and others enjoying the countryside come across a snare or a Fenn trap and will call us to find out if they’re legal and what they should do. Similarly, plenty of people encounter hunts or have problems with local pheasant shoots.
We always do what we can to advise, but recently we realised this wasn’t enough, and we began to work on a guidebook. The excellent wildlife champion and OneKind supporter David Mitchell provided us with some wonderful illustrations, and we translated what we knew about these traps and the law into what I hope is useful guidance. But the project quickly expanded into something bigger and more ambitious as we realised that our supporters wanted to know not just about trapping but wanted to understand wildlife persecution more generally. Critically, they wanted somebody to broach these issues from an animal welfare perspective rather than the more usual position of ambivalence to or support for hunting. So, Lonely Scotland was born.
Lonely Scotland aims to achieve two things. Firstly, it is a practical source of information on trapping, hunting and wildlife persecution in Scotland written from an animal-lover’s perspective. It provides you, the reader, with everything you need to know to establish the legality or otherwise of any wildlife persecution you might witness. Secondly, it’s part of our efforts to bring about change. Much of the persecution and ‘countryside management’ practices described in the book are hidden in plain view; violence towards wildlife that has been normalised and blended into the landscape. Lonely Scotland seeks to lift the veil, and to encourage people to see things for what they are. Because only by understanding and effectively communicating the sheer extent and brutality of wildlife persecution in Scotland, can we build the case for change.
The book is divided into three sections. The first deals with trapping. It describes ten of the most commonly used traps in Scotland, why they’re used, the law that governs their use and what to look out for. The second focuses on hunting, from the ubiquitous killing of pheasants for recreation to deer and even goat stalking. The final section provides an index of the most commonly persecuted species in Scotland and the level of legal protection they are given.