Reforms to protect Scotland’s wildlife an ‘important first step’ say Scottish Greens

Proposed new measures to help tackle wildlife crime have been welcomed as an ‘important first step’ to crack down on the persecution of birds and animals, say the Scottish Greens. 

The Scottish Government has announced a consultation on proposed tighter laws, that would require those who wish to manage grouse shoots to apply for a licence. Various forms of wildlife traps would also face being banned or subject to new regulations. 

Significantly, licences for so called muirburn - a controversial process used to preserve open moorland through the controlled burning of habitats - will also be considered as part of plans to develop a new Wildlife Management (Grouse Moor) Bill.

The Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP said:

“These measures cannot come a moment too soon. 

“For too long, Scotland has endured the persecution of birds of prey and wider environmental damage caused by driven grouse moor management.

“Today marks an important first step in ending destructive practices and holding shooting estates to account. 

“There is still a long way to go, but the range of reforms announced will deliver a step change.

“I particularly welcome the commitment to look again at the role of the Scottish SPCA.

“They are being held back and are only allowed to work on cases involving domestic animals. Their remit must fully extend to helping Police Scotland also tackle wildlife crime.”

The consultation will run until Thursday 8 December 2022 and available at the Scottish Government’s website.