In Rob Edwards’s article, it was suggested that, by refusing to attend Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime In Scotland (PAWS) meetings, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) is damaging initiatives to protect wildlife from persecution (Bitter war over illegal bird killings, News, May 21).

I do not think this is the case. The PAWS talking shop has been going on for years yet crimes of poisoning, shooting and trapping protected birds of prey are still commonplace in areas of Scotland where land is “managed” to increase numbers of birds to be shot by “sporting” guns.

Instead of pussyfooting around fearful of upsetting those with a vested interest in breaking the law to reduce the number of raptors it is time for politicians, police and prosecutors to take a determined hard line and jail wildlife criminals rather than jaw about it.

If the SGA cannot eliminate wildlife crime on estates their members manage, others must step in and lead the way.

To facilitate this we must rid ourselves of ludicrous legal niceties barring court use of video evidence clearly showing criminal acts being committed. The Crown Office must realise criminals are not going to invite investigators to film them breaking the law. Hidden cameras are crucial to obtain evidence.

Criminal acts of animal cruelty secretly filmed in abattoirs, farms, circuses and in the field have all be ruled inadmissible evidence in our courts. That situation must be quickly remedied.

John F Robins

Animal Concern Advice Line