Scottish Greens have commited to strengthening protections for wildlife and making sure they are enforced.
Current protections have failed or are poorly enforced. Within a year of beavers being declared a protected species, a fifth of the population was killed under license from NatureScot, the Scottish Government agency charged with protecting wildlife, and birds of prey continue to disappear or be found killed near Scotland’s grouse moors.
The Scottish Greens manifesto pledges to review the priorities of Nature.Scot and other agencies, strengthen licensing, end bloodsports, ban cruel traps like glue traps and snares and deliver a fully-resourced Wildlife Crime Investigations Unit in Police Scotland.
Commenting ahead of a visit to Red Moss of Balerno nature reserve, Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said:
“With one in nine species at risk, Scotland is in a Nature Emergency. Yet birds of prey continue to disappear and the Scottish government hands licences to kill birds and beavers out like candy. It’s time we took protection of our wildlife seriously, before it’s too late.
"The Scottish Greens will reform wildlife law, so that when a species or important habitat is designated as protected, they really are protected, we will ensure tackling wildlife crime is prioritised and resourced, and we will invest £895m in restoring the natural environment and creating rural green jobs across the country."
“Scottish Greens are proud of the protections we have won for beavers and mountain hares, but these need to be enforced, and those who commit wildlife crimes need to be brought to justice. That requires a government that can stand up to vested interests and protect Scotland’s wildlife. Their future depends on it, so vote Green on Thursday.”