Earlier this month we blogged about the long-overdue commissioned review of gamebird licensing systems (see here). This review was first commissioned by former Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, way back in May 2014.
In January last year, in response to a Parliamentary Question from Claudia Beamish MSP (Scottish Labour), the then Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod said it would be published in Autumn 2016.
In August 2016, in response to another Parliamentary Question from Claudia Beamish MSP, Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said it would be published in Autumn 2016.
In November 2016, in response to a Parliamentary Question from Mark Ruskell MSP (Scottish Greens), Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said, “We anticipate that it will be published shortly“.
In January 2017, Mark Ruskell MSP asked again in a further Parliamentary Question when this review would be published.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has now responded (on 17 Jan 2017):
“Scottish Natural Heritage will publish the commissioned research on gamebird licensing systems in selected other countries shortly“.
This stretching of the definition of ‘shortly’ is not uncommon in politics. In December 2016, John Finnie MSP (Scottish Greens), exasperated at the use of this term in relation to another Parliamentary Question, asked the Scottish Government: ‘…..what its definition is of the term ‘shortly’ and whether it will confirm by what date the announcement will be made‘ (Question S5W-05839).
Humza Yousef, Minister for Transport and the Islands responded almost one month later:
‘I shall reply to the member as soon as possible‘.
Photo of gamebirds being transported to a release pen, by RPUK