Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey
Review of European game bird hunting regulations now published
28 February 2017
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has published a report comparing the game bird hunting regulations in 14 European countries. It focuses specifically on the legal controls on game bird hunting, including licensing and permitting arrangements, as well as on the requirements for monitoring, protecting and managing game birds.
The report found that all 14 countries regulate game bird hunting through legislation, including licensing individual hunters, with the strictest requiring harvest quotas and bag reporting. All 14 countries are able to revoke hunting licences if the legislation is contravened and most also penalise serious breaches of hunting law. In many of the countries examined, hunters must pass a two-part practical and theoretical examination in order to qualify for a hunting licence.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said:
“I welcome the publication of this report. It shows that there is more regulation of gamebird hunting in many other countries than we have in Scotland. We will be looking very carefully at these different management approaches to see whether they offer the means to address issues such as raptor persecution.
Already we have committed to a number of new measures to tackle wildlife crime within Scotland including; increases in criminal penalties, a prevention review and the creation of a dedicated investigative support unit within Police Scotland. These measures clearly demonstrate our resolve to tackle raptor persecution. This new report and the forthcoming review of satellite tagging data will help determine our next steps.”
This report will also be used to inform the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee's consideration of the Scottish Raptor Study Group's petition calling for the introduction of licensing for all game bird hunting in Scotland.
Eric Meek: 1947-2017
20 February 2017
The SRSG is saddened to hear of the passing last week of long-term and popular SRSG member Eric Meek after a short illness. Eric was best known for his work on merlins and hen harriers on Orkney, where he worked as the RSPB's Area Officer from 1981 until his retirement in 2012. A potted history of his work can be read here and tributes to Eric can be read here and here. Our sincere condolences to his wife Aileen and his family, friends & colleagues.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham to address SRSG annual conference
10 February 2017
Our annual conference takes place later this month and we're delighted to welcome Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Roseanna Cunningahm, who will be making a presentation. Our conference is a private event for members only, with just a handful of invited non-member guests. An overview of the programme can be found here.
Alleged shooting of hen harrier on Moray grouse moor - new trial date set for gamekeeper
10 February 2017
A new trial date has now been set in this long-running case. Stanley Gordon is accused of the alleged shooting of a hen harrier in June 2013 when he worked as a gamekeeper on Cabrach Estate, Moray. He has denied the charge. The new trial date has been set for 21 March 2017. We look forward to this case reaching a conclusion.
RSPB 2015 Birdcrime Report published
5 February 2017
The RSPB has published its 2015 annual report on UK Birdcrime. The report documents 196 reports of the shooting, trapping and poisoning of birds of prey across the UK. 64 of these reports were confirmed as crimes, including the illegal shooting of 46 raptors and 16 cases of illegal trapping. There were also 50 reports of illegal poisoning, 32 of which were confirmed, including 15 buzzards, 4 red kites and 3 peregrines. Some of the Scottish data were withheld from the report, at the request of Police Scotland. Nevertheless, the report clearly shows that raptor persecution continues apace in Scotland.
2017: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec ,
2016: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec ,
2015: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept,Oct, Nov, Dec,
2014: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept,Oct, Nov, Dec
2013: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec,
2012: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sept,Oct, Nov, Dec.