from C.A.S.H. Committee To Abolish Sport Hunting

SCOTLAND: US female big game hunter who boasted of gunning down goats and stags on trip to Scottish island and posed with bloodied sex toy next to dead sheep faces criminal charges

December 24, 2018

From Danyal Hussain,

An American big-game hunter who boasted of gunning down local animals while visiting a Scottish island is now facing criminal charges.

Larysa Switlyk, 33, 'a world-renowned hunter' from Sarasota, Florida, was accused of 'trophy hunting' wild animals on the island of Islay, Scotland in September after she posed for a series of Instagram photos during the hunt.

Now, Police Scotland have confirmed that the hunter, who regularly posts photos of her hunts alongside her boyfriend Jason, has been reported for firearms offences, along with a 41-year-old man also from the US.

While she was pictured with slain goats, stags and sheep on Islay, hunting animals in season is not illegal in Scotland and she is facing a charge under Section 11a of the Firearms Act, which relates to how you can use borrowed shotguns legally.

In November, Ms Switlyk also caused controversy after she was pictured in Norfolk posing next to a sheep she had just killed and holding up a blood-covered sex toy.

Ms Switlyk drew intense criticism from politicians and celebrities after posting the photos - although many commenters mocked her for posing so proudly with a sheep.

Police Scotland added that they had received several complaints about hunting in September and the Procurator Fiscal is now investigating.

In one Instagram picture, blonde television presenter Ms Switlyk, dressed in camouflage gear, knelt beside the corpse of a goat while another shot saw her posing 'in sniper mode' and lying in the long grass while pointing a gun into the distance.

Other animals she hunted included stags, and in one caption she wrote: 'In awe of my Scottish Stag ~ can't wait to bring it back to the castle for the chefs to cook it up!'

The photos of the bloody hunts sparked outrage in Scotland, with one MSP warning he would be looking into whether the hunts were organised by an official group.

In Scotland, it is legal to hunt red stags between July 1 and October 20, provided hunters use firearms, have a licence for their weapons and have the permission of the landowner.

Wild goats and sheep have no legal protections under Scottish law and are often included by companies offering hunt parties.

A Scottish Government spokesman said at the time: '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.'

Ms Switlyk posted pictures of Jason, also posing with animal carcasses, and wrote: 'Congrats on Jason on his gold medal goat here in Scotland on Islay. A unique hunt'.

In another, she said: 'Proud of Jason and his second monstrous Red Stag here in Scotland. Talk about gold medal status. Was fun to be behind the camera and capturing it all on film.

'Amazing hunting here in the Highlands.'

MSP Michael Russell said: 'If this is actually happening on Islay and laid on by some sort of tour company I would want to see it stopped immediately.'

Tennis star Andy Murray's mum Judy Murray tweeted: 'A unique hunt? Disgraceful. It's a goat. And it's in Scotland, on a beautiful island. Stop this please @scotgov.'

And Nicky Campbell wrote on Twitter: 'Please don't take this the wrong way but you are a twisted sicko'.

On her website, Ms Switlyk described herself as 'a mixture of a tomboy and model,' and 'competitive, engaging and adventurous.'

Her television show, Larysa Unleashed, aims to 'enlighten and educate the general population about why people hunt and fish, the importance of conservation, cultural experiences, and the rules and regulations behind it'.

And she is described as having 'found true love and zeal for hunting'.

In November in Norfolk, she could be seen smiling as she held aloft the rubber sex toy while kneeling over the body of a freshly-killed male soay sheep.

The photo was taken during an all-girls hunting trip to Norfolk, which was called off by the organiser halfway through due to the raucous, 'hen-do atmosphere'.

British hunter Jenna Gearing was one of those involved in the trip but said she quit early disgusted by Ms Switlyk's attitude.

Ms Gearing, 24, told MailOnline: 'It was a bit of fun during the party but I have no idea why it was brought out the following day on a hunt.

'It was an appalling thing to do, a complete show of disrespect to the animal she has just killed.

'I'm not friends with her [Larysa] any longer and In fact the reason I left that hunt early was because I was so against what she stood for and her morals.

'I'd left the hunting trip before that photo was taken but it is an embarrassment to people that hunt like me and my family, who do it for sustainability, management and to eat wholesome freerange meat that I can source.'

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