MSPs seek views on grouse moor management and raptor persecution laws

MSPs seek views on grouse moor management and raptor persecution laws

Holyrood’s Rural Affairs & Islands Committee has launched a call for views on measures to address wildlife crime, tackle raptor persecution and manage grouse moors in Scotland, as it considers the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill.

Are the proposed licensing systems for land to be used to shoot red grouse appropriate? Are those for muirburn, the controlled burning of vegetation, suitable? Should certain wildlife traps be permitted? And should glue traps be banned?

MSPs will consider the bill which aims to address the illegal targeting of birds of prey and ensure that the management of grouse moors and related activities are carried out in an environmentally sustainable way, that considers the welfare of wild birds and animals.

If passed, the bill would change the law in several ways. It would:

  • ban the use of glue traps;
  • introduce a licensing system for certain wildlife traps;
  • introduce a licensing system for land on which certain birds may be killed or taken (currently only proposed to include red grouse);
  • extend the investigatory powers of the Scottish SPCA; and
  • extend the existing muirburn licensing system.

Launching the committee’s call for views, convener Finlay Carson MSP, said: “We all have a responsibility to improve wildlife welfare wherever possible. While scrutinising this bill, we also need to consider the economic, environmental and conservation impacts of the proposals, alongside existing wildlife practises.

“We’d like to hear from members of the public, rural communities and stakeholders to help inform our scrutiny of this bill and to ensure an outcome that delivers in the best interests of wildlife welfare, the environment, the rural economy and sustainability of our rural communities.”

The call for views is open until Friday 5 May.

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