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    'Shooting a Docile Creature' Should Not be Legal in Scotland - Activist

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    Scotland may review its legislation on hunting after a US trophy hunter sparked outrage by posting pictures of herself with wild animals shot on the Scottish island of Islay. Larysa Switlyk, a Florida-born hunter, posted pictures of herself and the corpses of wild goats, rams, and deer, on Twitter, provoking a huge backlash.

    A petition has now been started which has gained 4000 signatures in under 24 hours, asking the Scottish Government to bring in legislation which will prevent such trophy hunters from coming to Scotland to hunt wild animals in future. Sputnik spoke to the founder of the petition, 20 year-old student Imogen MacLeod and asked her what motivated her to start the petition.

    Sputnik: What motivated you to start this petition?

    Imogen MacLeod: I think personally I’m from quite a rural area and this is not the kind of thing we want to see around our countryside.

    In terms of the tourist industry – this woman was advertising hunting tours and this is the kind of thing that people should come over and be doing and in the peaceful environment and decent respect for the nature we live in it’s just not what I like seeing and a lot of people I think agreed with me.

    And I think also just the sheer imbalance of power – shooting a goat with an automate rifle is just ridiculously unnatural.

    Sputnik: What would you like to see the Scottish Government do about it?

    Imogen MacLeod: I know that the hunting issue is very hotly contested but I think some kind of hunting ban – at least a ban on the hunting of wild animals because I know there’s a lot of money involved – that’s a big business.

    But in terms of coming to an island or a hillside and shooting a docile creature with hi-tech equipment just shouldn’t be legal. And I think the laws are currently very lax on it.

    A lot of people responded to the tweet @policescotland ‘Is this legal?’ Most people were shocked that it was legal.

    Sputnik: Some people do make the comment that it’s in order to cull animals and keep numbers down so that it doesn’t harm the environment as it can if you have too many?

    Imogen MacLeod: Of course and I think that argument can be deconstructed by asking at what point that woman was hired?

    At what point was she told that there were too many goats on the island of Islay? And I also think if culling needs to take place it should be commissioned by a local authority and it’s probably a job which needs to be dealt with by a local gunsman or the government.

    This woman was not shooting for the best interests of the environment.

    Sputnik: And your petition is gaining signatures fast, almost 4000 signatures in 24 hours, what is the plan once you reach the target number?

    Imogen MacLeod: As with all petitions it is just to show that there is big public support for something and I don’t even have a target number.

    I think if anything it’s going to provide good evidence that anybody advocating in parliament for a hunting ban can show that the people of Scotland agree with that. So yes, show it to MSPs.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Imogen MacLeod and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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