The Scottish Government has been urged not to make any knee jerk decisions in response to calls to crack down on wildlife crime.
The Scottish Gamekeepers Association claims deliberations over whether to extend the investigative role of Scottish SPCA inspectors should not be conflated with a spate of bird of prey deaths in the Highlands.
The unexplained deaths of more than 20 raptors in the Conon Bridge area in March led to campaign groups calling on MSPs to push for new SSPCA powers.
But gamekeepers believe politicians should make the decision on evidence rather than that situation.
SGA chairman Alex Hogg said: “There is no doubt Conon Bridge was an appalling crime.
“All partners and stakeholders in this case hope to get to a situation where there is closure, ultimately a prosecution and appropriate sentencing.
“However, we feel it has also become a campaigning tool by certain groups eager to achieve their own objectives.
“RSPB Scotland, for example, pushed to make Conon Bridge a case for licensing of grouse moors even though there was no suggestion it was ever anything to do with grouse or shooting of any kind.
“We hope, therefore, that politicians manage to separate Conon Bridge from what the possible implications are of having two campaigning charities, SSPCA and RSPB, neither of whom have the same accountability as police, involved in the delivery of justice.
“The two issues should not be conflated.”
Mr Hogg said raptor poisoning cases had decreased in recent years but if more resources to tackle wildlife crime were to be deployed they should be given to Police Scotland.
The Law Society of Scotland is in favour of more dedicated police officers to deal with bird poisoning cases.
But animal protection charity OneKind wants the Scottish SPCA to be given more powers to search vehicles suspected of carrying illegal carcasses, protected live animals and birds, and illegal traps or poisons.
The Scottish Government is expected to make a decision after the referendum.