28
Apr
14

More parliamentary questions asked about raptor persecution in Scotland

Claire Baker MSP 2Last week we blogged about MSP Liam McArthur’s parliamentary questions about raptor persecution in Scotland, posed after our articles on the alleged police response to the poisoned peregrine found at Leadhills (see here).

It seems he’s not the only MSP paying attention to this blog.

Claire Baker MSP (Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & the Environment, and MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife) has also been asking some pointed parliamentary questions:

Question S4W-20654: Claire Baker, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/04/2014.

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it plans to take in response to the illegal killing of birds of prey in addition to its consultation on the powers of the Scottish SPCA.

Current Status: Expected Answer date 07/05/2014

Question S4W-20655: Claire Baker, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/04/2014.

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the Minister for Environment and Climate Change’s comment in his letter to the chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates dated 26 February 2014 [which we revealed in an FOI here] that “despite all our efforts, there remains an element of sporting managers and owners who continue to flout the law and defy public opinion”, whether it will conduct a review of the licensing and other arrangements for regulating game bird shooting in other countries, with a view to implementing stronger management and regulation.

Current Status: Expected Answer date 07/05/2014

Question S4W-20656: Claire Baker, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/04/2014.

To ask the Scottish Government what recent discussions the (a) Cabinet Secretary for Justice and (b) Minister for Environment and Climate Change has had with the Chief Constable regarding resources and training for wildlife crime officers.

Current Status: Expected Answer date 07/05/2014

Not only has she been asking parliamentary questions, she’s also been writing to the Environment Minister specifically about raptor persecution (see here), and last week she used her opening address at the SEPA and SRUC conference on land use and sustainable development to highlight the Ross-shire Massacre and state that “there can be no more excuses from landowners and the Government” (see here).

The Environment Minister is coming under increasing attack for what many see as an abject failure to deal with raptor persecution, particularly that associated with game-shooting estates. We suggested on Twitter this weekend that the Scottish Government is too obsessed with the Independence Referendum to care/notice the on-going rise in raptor crime. Paul Wheelhouse has hit back this morning with a series of tweets, including:

“It [raptor persecution] stains our reputation and I promise you this is not being ignored by me or Scottish Government”

and

“We’re being robust and if new measures don’t improve, will go further”

and

“Hope to have a parliamentary debate in near future”.

UPDATE 16th MAY 2014: Answers to Claire Baker’s parliamentary questions here.


9 Responses to “More parliamentary questions asked about raptor persecution in Scotland”


  1. 1 salmonshepherd
    April 28, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Well done to Claire!

  2. April 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Fantastic from Liam McArthur and even harder hitting Claire Baker.
    Yet Wheelhouse is still using the same mantra
    ‘if new measures don’t improve, will go further”
    He is hoping a minute percentage drop is going to get him off the hook.
    When is he going to get that NOTHING HE IS DOING HAS WORKED.

  3. 5 Merlin
    April 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Totally agree with Nirofo, He came in with a blaze of words that sounded good and that was it. same as every other enviroment minister before him, dont rock the boat old chum. what he has introduced has not worked. it has made the situation worse, we are talking a 600 – 700 per cent increase in persecution from a 70 per cent decrease. at what point will he say himself things have gone too far, how long do we have to wait, will we end up with raptors restricted to areas well away from driven game shooting estates, big thanks to both Liam and Clare for asking these questions and at least making it uncomfortable for those taking money from the public but not deserving of it

  4. 6 Stewart Love
    April 28, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    It seems Mr Wheelhouse is the same as all the rest of our Ministers, all talk and no action. We just remember what he has done or not done when it comes to an election.

  5. 7 Dave Dick
    April 28, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    A serious attack on those in charge is needed – what about reintroducing rates on “sporting” estates, licensing sporting estates and banning driven grouse shooting and the mass release of pheasants, duck and partridge?

  6. 8 Circus maxima
    April 28, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Yep……..its spring, the lawnmowers are out…lets get rid of the long grass. Lets not let them loose the ball.

  7. 9 Damion Willcock
    April 29, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Well done Liam McArthur and Claire Baker. More please!


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