Farming: Tough on the causes of flytipping

Tougher penalties for flytipping and increased protection for victims in proposed new legislation has been welcomed by a leading rural business organisation.

Scottish Conservative  MSP Murdo Fraser
Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser

Submitting its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation for a Member’s Bill proposed by Scottish Conservative MSP, Murdo Fraser, Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) welcomed the suggested changes, especially improvements in how flytipping incidents were recorded as well as tougher deterrents and penalties to tackle the widespread problem.

“Flytipping is a national shame which became significantly worse during the pandemic,” said SLE policy advisor, Simon Ovenden.

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But he said that under the current legislation, flytipping was possibly the only crime in Scotland where the victim, in this case the landowner, was likely to be held financially responsible and threatened with prosecution for having a crime committed against them.

He said that if hazardous waste such as asbestos was illegally dumped, a seven-day warning cwould be issued by local authorities - with the land manager additionally being threatened of possible prosecution. Ovenden claimed that this appeared to be an established process across Scotland where the victim was made to pay, and not the offender or the local body responsible for such waste:

“We’re pleased that Mr Fraser proposes to address this injustice with local authorities permitted to remove waste from private land and, where possible, recoup costs from the offender and generator of the waste.”

He added that as well as tackling those who actually dumped waste, the new proposals would also placed more onus on those who hired cheap but unscrupulous operators to dispose of it.

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