NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Orkney stoat traps claim probed by police

A stoat Image copyright cwk15
Image caption Stoats started appearing in Orkney in 2010

Police are investigating claims that traps being used as part of a major project to eradicate stoats from Orkney may be breaking the law.

Stoats are common in parts of mainland Scotland but they only started appearing in Orkney in 2010.

The Orkney Native Wildlife Project was launched as the animals are said to pose a threat to important wildlife.

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) said the traps may not comply with the relevant legislation.

RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and Orkney Islands Council are partners in the ongoing five-year project, aimed at protecting ground-nesting birds and other native species such as the Orkney vole.

Image copyright SGA
Image caption The Scottish Gamekeepers Association has raised concerns about traps

The SGA said traps may not have been set in a way that conformed to guidelines.

However, RSPB Scotland said the traps being used by the Orkney Native Wildlife Project complied with all relevant legislation.

Police Scotland said in a statement: "Police Scotland can confirm that a report has been received and inquiries are at an early stage."

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