01
Feb
14

The SOC joins call for game-shooting regulation

soc-logoColourThe Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC) has joined the voices rising against raptor persecution in Scotland. In a significant move, the President of the SOC has written to Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse about the continuing levels of crime against raptors, despite all the ‘new measures’ designed to combat the killing, and has asked him to consider introducing further measures to regulate the game-shooting industry. Read his letter here. Why is this significant? Well, the SOC is a long-established organisation, well known and respected for its long-term bird monitoring activities and publications and for keeping its own counsel. It is not an organisation known for political campaigning on conservation policies.

The catalyst for change? The same catalyst that triggered similar recent moves by the RSPB, various MSPs, the Scottish Raptor Study Group, and hundreds of members of the public who wrote to the Minister over the Xmas period – the illegal poisoning of golden eagle Fearnan, found dead on a grouse moor in December. But not just the death of Fearnan – the SOC has recognised the other persecution incidents recorded during 2013, referring to them as ‘the catalogue of appalling wildlife crimes against birds of prey’. Indeed.

Last week we said we’d be blogging about the Minister’s response to all these calls for stronger action – that blog is coming shortly….

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5 Responses to “The SOC joins call for game-shooting regulation”


  1. 1 nirofo
    February 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    This is welcome news, lets hope it provokes a rapid and meaningful response from the Scottish Government.

  2. 2 Circus maxima
    February 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    A petition to the Environment Committee would mean that there would be a chance to deliver the evidence to MSP’s, it would force SNH to comment(we would only hear the opinion that the Minister would want to hear), and we would all be entertained by the SGA having to try to be coherent in public.

  3. 3 Stewart Love
    February 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Good news indeed, and coming from the SOC, this should put more pressure on Mr Wheelhouse to get his act together and do something to protect birds and catch the law breakers. He seems to be taking his time doing this, maybe hoping that things will die down, I don’t think that is going to happen this time Mr Wheelhouse.

  4. February 1, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Persecute anyone and everyone who thinks its any sort of(game) live game! To abuse, kill or otherwise put animals such as these amazing wild birds under stress because they happen to find a space a home that is outwith what us as human beings want and if we did not break down,burn and destroy their environment they would not need to look for other areas to live.. this is exactly what is wrong with this country now and why we have so many wonderful wild animals under threat their main threat being humans!!! I hope the scottish Government does the right thing and steps up to their responsibilities when it comes to this and any animal abuse in Scotland/uk… thanks.

  5. February 2, 2014 at 9:09 am

    This is an idea whose time has come…….if we wish to make it happen!!! The Scottish Raptor Study Group and , now, the Scottish Ornithologists Club have put their respective weight behind the idea of having grouse shooting regulated. This is something we must all get behind to ensure the idea remains buoyant and action results.

    The E-petition, in a similar vein, which I instituted last February now only has three weeks to run. It has reached over 8500 signatures and, if it reaches 10,000, will receive an official Government response, which I believe is an important milestone. I would hope that, if you haven’t signed already, you’ll be willing to do so.
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/14673 Thank you.

    But we need to do more than that if we can. Given I live in Scotland I’ll be writing to Paul Wheelhouse and pushing the whole subject as I believe, if the matter can be raised on as wide a front as possible, and kept alive, then action will result. It may be slow, it might require persistence, but I believe continuing to push the “practitioners” into an ever reducing corner will produce results.


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