Earlier this month we revealed that public funds were being used to promote the business of a sporting agent who had been convicted of raptor persecution (through being vicariously liable for the crimes of his gamekeeper). We encouraged blog readers to ask Tourism Minister Fiona Hyslop whether this was an appropriate use of tax payers’ money (see here).
One of the Minister’s aides has responded today as follows:
The problem with this response is that it doesn’t answer the question that was asked. That question to the Minister was:
“Were you aware that the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group [in receipt of public funding from VisitScotland] is promoting a convicted wildlife criminal, and if so, do you think this is an appropriate use of public funds?”
And a few days after that question was posed to the Minister, we discovered that the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group is also promoting the businesses of Invercauld Estate and Glendye Grouse Moor, where illegally-set traps have recently been found (see here).
So, we’ll be writing again to the Tourism Minister and asking her to please answer the question:
‘Are you aware that the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group, in receipt of public funding from VisitScotland, is promoting the business of a convicted wildlife criminal and that of two estates where illegal activity has been uncovered, and if so, do you think this is an appropriate use of public funds?‘
We’re also aware that one of our blog readers has contacted his local MSP about this issue (thank you) and his MSP has now written to the Chief Exec of VisitScotland, Malcolm Roughead, to ask for an explanation.
This issue isn’t going away any time soon.