Law to be reviewed after outrage at Islay wild goat shoot

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The Scottish Government is to review the law around animal culling after an American TV presenter sparked outrage bytweeting “sickening” pictures of herself and a companion posing with a wild goat shot on Islay.

Larysa Switlyk, who describes herself as a “professional huntress” and host of Larysa Unleashed on Destination America & World Fishing Network, posted a picture of herself smiling behind the animal.

The image has been been widely criticised online with more than 2,800 people commenting on the picture.

In the tweet from her @LSwitlyk account the presenter wrote: “Beautiful wild goat here on the Island of Islay in Scotland. Such a fun hunt!! They live on the edge of the cliffs of the island and know how to hide well.

“Made a perfect 200 yard shot and dropped him with the @gunwerks and @nightforce_optics ! ( Good thing too because he could have ran off the cliff into the water). ”

The other image shows a man posing behind a white goat, with the caption: “Congrats on Jason on his gold medal goat here in Scotland on Islay. A unique hunt.”

Twitter users condemned the images as “sickening” and “truly abhorrent” but the Scottish Government said responsible and appropriate culling of some wild animals, including deer and goats, is not illegal.

However the law is to be reviewed and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Totally understandable why the images from Islay of dead animals being held up as trophies is so upsetting and offensive to people.

“@scotgov will review the current situation and consider whether changes to the law are required.”

Sarah Moyes, campaigner for OneKind which campaigns against animal cruelty, said: “It’s utterly shocking to see these images of Larysa Switlyk and other hunters posing for photos with the wild animals they killed on a recent trip to Scotland.

“Yet again, instead of celebrating Scotland’s magnificent wildlife, we are seeing these beautiful animals exploited in the name of sport.

“This is not the kind of tourism we should be encouraging in Scotland, let alone allowing to happen in the 21st century.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We fully understand why so many people find these images of hunted animals being held up as trophies so upsetting.

“Responsible and appropriate culling of animals is a necessary part of sustainable land management and the culling of some wild animals, including deer and goats, is not illegal.

“However, we understand the concerns caused by these images and, in light of them, the Environment Secretary will review the situation and consider whether any clarification of or changes to the law might be required.”

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