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3 April 2012

Easter Egg Warning

The arrival of the new bird breeding season has prompted the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime to launch Operation Easter – the annual national effort to deter egg-thieves from targeting wild birds’ nests.

Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson, who also chairs PAW Scotland, said:

”While our member organisations are making significant headway tackling egg thieves, they can’t do it alone and we depend on everyone who’s out and about in the countryside to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to the police.”

Operation Easter was started by Tayside police back in 1997. The police, National Wildlife Crime Unit and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds began working together to share intelligence and ensure effective enforcement action against the egg thieves.

This has resulted in several seizures of egg collections over recent years across the UK. The concerted effort has seen the number of active egg thieves reduced to an all-time low.

But Charles Everitt, Scottish Investigative support officer at the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, warned that one of the biggest dangers now was complacency.

Said Mr Everitt:

”We can’t afford to relax at this stage. Over Easter and in the coming weeks, Scotland’s wildlife crime officers will be out in force, targeting anyone stealing from Scotland’s wild bird nests.”

Anyone who witnesses or suspects that people are involved in egg theft or any other rural crime should contact CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111, or their local police.
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