New petition: SNH, do not licence buzzard culling in Scotland

buzzard 3Following on from the frankly outrageous situation south of the border, where it has been revealed that the UK government’s conservation agency (Natural England) has secretly issued licences, without supporting scientific evidence, to destroy native buzzards’ nests & eggs to protect superabundant foreign gamebirds reared for sport-shooting (see here), a new petition has started in Scotland to let the Scottish government’s conservation agency (Scottish Natural Heritage) know that such a move won’t be tolerated in this country.

Gamekeepers and landowners in Scotland have been lobbying the Scottish government for these licences for at least ten years. For example here is a news report from 2003. We have blogged extensively about the continuous efforts of these organisations who are seemingly hell-bent on continuing the Victorian tradition of killing predators; so far their efforts have been thwarted but for how much longer?

In January this year we blogged about a new scientific paper that discussed how buzzards are only a minor source of pheasant mortality – road traffic, for example, is far more important (see here). We also highlighted in that blog how SGA Chairman Alex Hogg admitted losing 500 pheasant poults to hypothermia last year – perhaps an infestation of buzzards blocked out the sun and caused the low temperatures that killed those young birds.

In March this year we blogged about how Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse had recently told the SGA that licences to cull raptors would not be issued for the forseeable future due to the on-going incidents of criminal raptor persecution (see here). Since then, there have been a number of persecution incidents – some publicised by the police, some not. There’s one particularly relevant incident that happened before Easter, where, according to local sources, a buzzard was caught in what has been described as an illegal gin trap. It didn’t survive. Why haven’t Police Scotland publicised this incident? In whose interests is it to keep this crime a secret?

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs that this issue is still at the top of the agenda, in this, the so-called Year of Natural Scotland.

Please sign the petition here

You might also want to email Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse to let him know your views on the issue of buzzard licensing in Scotland and ask him whether he’s aware of the buzzard that was caught in an illegal trap in Scotland more than eight weeks ago:  ministerforenvironment@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

9 Responses to “New petition: SNH, do not licence buzzard culling in Scotland”

  1. 1 Davies, Lewis
    May 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    A huge thanks to Raptor Persecution Scotland for coming on board with this!!

    Best wishes

    Lewis Davies

  2. 2 gilly mcpeak
    May 26, 2013 at 11:25 am

    There is no need for such persecution.

  3. 3 Mike Barnett.
    May 27, 2013 at 7:35 am

    This government needs percecuting not raptors. Mike barnett

  4. 4 Dave Dick
    May 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Well done..SNH will definitely take the Natural England’s cowardly decision as a precedent…they need to know how strong is our opposition..

  5. 5 Karen Forbes
    May 31, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    There is something very wrong when we are killing off indigenous species to protect an introduced species which will in turn be killed simply for entertainment. When will we learn to leave wildlife alone?

  6. 7 Donna Thomas
    June 13, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    I think this is wrong killing raptors so they don’t kill pheasants is outrageous particularly when then only reason to protect the pheasants is so that a minority can have so called fun shooting them. At least the buzzards kill to survive and not sport.

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