RSPB welcomes SNP condemnation of raptor slaughter

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​Party motion condemns illegal killing of raptors

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17th November 2014 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

RSPB Scotland has welcomed a motion passed at the recent Scottish National Party (SNP) conference which condemns the illegal persecution of birds of prey.

The charity said it is now time for the nationalist-controlled Scottish Government to intervene to better regulate the gamebird shooting industry.

RSPB Scotland says illegal shooting and poisoning by elements linked to shooting interests is the cause of many raptor deaths.

Duncan Orr-Ewing, head of species and land management at RSPB Scotland, said: "We welcome the motion on tackling illegal raptor persecution and the resolute commitment of the Scottish Government towards improving the enforcement of our wildlife protection laws.

Recent high profile cases of raptor persecution show that illegal activity is continuing at a highly damaging level, particularly on land managed for driven grouse shooting.

“Crimes against birds of prey in Scotland continue to impact the populations of some of our most vulnerable bird species, such as golden eagles and hen harriers, undermining the international reputation of Scotland as a place which gives a safe home to wildlife.

“Recent high profile cases of raptor persecution, and ongoing monitoring efforts of these species, show that illegal activity is continuing at a highly damaging level, particularly on land managed for driven grouse shooting.

“In these parts of our upland landscape, the problem is getting worse not better, as intensification of grouse moor management is taking place and leading to widespread unsustainable practices.

“In Scotland, we have some of the highest intensity and least regulated gamebird hunting systems in Europe.

“The voluntary approach towards resolving these long standing sporting industry problems is failing, and it is time for the Scottish Government to intervene.

“We support the proposed Scottish Government review of gamebird licensing systems in other countries, with a view to informing the introduction of an appropriate licensing system for Scottish circumstances as soon as possible.

“Any costs of administration of such a system should be paid for by sporting rates or any equivalent levy.”