Scottish licensing review - the GWCT response

SNHReviewBy Adam Smith, GWCT Scotland Director

SNH has recently published a review of hunting licensing. This interesting read highlights that across most European countries, hunters tend to be individually regulated in their hunting and conservation.

We were also disappointed but unsurprised to learn from this report that despite regulation birds of prey are illegally killed throughout Europe, as they continue to be in Scotland, despite the efforts of many parties.

It is perhaps unsurprising that this report is being flagged by some as highly relevant to the current debate over shoot licensing in Scotland, with its particular focus on grouse moors and bird of prey protection.

Yet there are a number of non-sequiturs, including those above, that come out of this report. So we look forward to future discussions on whether more licensing or regulation is likely to improve Scotland’s countryside, or act as a disincentive to wildlife conservation.

In these discussions we will be clear that licensing, of predator control and other activities, already regulates much Scottish game and wildlife management. And that where regulation is absent, voluntary work is active in maintaining a robust record of game shot and predators controlled, primarily to GWCT’s National Game Bag census which is used to improve land managers’ knowledge.

Thanks to the dedication, skill and investment of land managers, including shoots, Scotland has an abundance of game and wildlife. These support both predators and sporting activity, both of which need to be conserved and enhanced as vital parts of our countryside, as noted in our previous blogs, in Sustaining Scotland’s Moorlands and our report on grouse moors to Westminster.

As we have noted before, we feel more needs to be done to use the powers already available to manage a balance, so safeguarding the linked national assets of shoot-driven predator control, prey such as lapwings and birds of prey.

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grouse moor management

at 8:18 on 01/03/2017 by Wendy Harvey

If it were not for gamekeeperes wildlife would cease to exist

Grouse moor management

at 17:10 on 28/02/2017 by David Stewart

It has become evidently very clear now that the majority of gamekeepers and grouse moor managers, despite what they say will not tolerate birds of prey on their estates, but one day things will change. There is only one way forward, they must toe the line and respect the law otherwise the sporting estates will cease to exist. There is another alternative (which I personally would not like to see) and that is to ban driven grouse shooting forever.

Wildlife Crime

at 12:08 on 28/02/2017 by Calvert McKibbin

When will the Scottish Government start to read their own propaganda which shows that the greats number of wildlife crime offence reported is against fish! Starting to feel that we are being demonized for purely political purposes!

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