Beginning in the 1980s, Scotland's secretary of state and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office were at the center of how the Loch Ness Monster should be protected from poachers. According to recently-released records, the British discussions were spurred by Sweden's inquiries on how to deal with their own Storsjo monster. Ultimately, it was decided that the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act makes it an offense to "snare, shoot, or blow" up Nessie. From The Herald:
A letter was sent from the British embassy in Stockholm to the under-secretary at the Scottish Office. It began: "I am sorry to bother you with an inquiry which will no doubt be greeted at first glance with gales of laughter."Link (via Fortean Times)
The letter sparked a flurry of memos between government departments.
JB Barty, a rural group civil servant, wrote: "The protection of this putative denizen of the deep deserves serious consideration."
JF Buckle, an official at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, wrote: "Unfortunately, Nessie is not a salmon and would not appear to qualify as a freshwater fish under the Salmon and Fisheries Protection (Scotland) Act 1951."