Poaching incidents have decreased according to the annual wildlife crime report for 2013-14 published by the Scottish Government.

A 20 per cent decrease was welcomed by Scottish Land and Estates who said that this momentum needed to be maintained. The government and police should continue to devote resources to the issue, especially in offences linked to organised poaching.

Douglas McAdam, chief executive of Scottish Land and Estates, said: “It is pleasing that there has been a significant reduction in incidents of wildlife crime across most different categories of offence.”

McAdam believes that Scottish Land and Estates and Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) working alongside the police and government is having a real effect on wildlife crime on the ground.

“We are happy to see a large drop in the number of poaching incidents which can often be linked to organised crime,” McAdam said.

“We have seen a real focus on rural crime overall during the past year and we recognise police and government’s efforts on this. We need to ensure that resources are directed to tackling rural crime, and we are willing to play whatever role we can in helping government and police achieve this.”