Thu 19 Dec, 2019

Up to a fifth of Scotland’s land has been kept barren and thousands of birds and mammals have been slaughtered to enable a cruel hobby of a very few people. This report is a weak washout that cow-tows to powerful vested interests Mark Ruskell

The Scottish Greens have branded the report of the Scottish Government’s high-profile review of grouse moor management a washout, after it failed to make any recommendation on licencing.

The long-awaited publication of the Werrity review was buried in today’s announcements by the Scottish Government.

The report recommends some regulation of muirburn, managing Mountain Hares and using medicated grit but falls short of recommending licensing, arguing that it would be “a political decision”.

Commenting, Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “This review was set up over two years ago to consider regulatory options including licencing, yet it has failed to come up with adequate solutions. In fact, it was clearly watered down at the request of vested interests. What a waste of time.

“In fact, this report throws up more questions than answers by proposing measures limited to certain species or techniques. A five-year ‘probationary period’ for specified raptors isn’t going to stop them disappearing around grouse moors.

“Meanwhile, up to a fifth of Scotland’s land has been kept barren and thousands of birds and mammals have been slaughtered to enable a cruel hobby of a very few people. This report is a weak washout that cow-tows to powerful vested interests.

“Scotland's land needs to be freed up for the benefit of all of its people and used in ways that secures a sustainable future for our country. For example, our peatlands should be restored, not burned. The continuation of this barbaric practice makes no economic or moral sense in modern Scotland.”

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