Ban raptor killers

I am sure I am not alone in being disgusted by gamekeeper George Mutch’s crime of killing of rare raptors (your report, 13 January). I would also suggest that a four-month sentence is hardly “severe” for such a crime.

Is it too much to hope that, after release, he will be banned from any employment on any estate?

No doubt the gamekeepers’ spokesman will suggest that his crime is an isolated case, but in view of both the large numbers of deaths of raptors on or near the shooting estates, and their singular absence from these areas which would normally be considered ideal habitat, I would suggest that such wildlife crime is endemic on the shooting estates.

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The continued, completely illegal, persecution of raptors shows that many gamekeepers and their ­employers have no respect for Scotland’s wildlife, or for the law. As such, much more severe penalties are required to eradicate this vile practice.

Douglas Hamilton


Isle of Arran