ECCLR Committee’s latest thoughts on gamebird licensing petition

This morning the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee considered how to progress the Scottish Raptor Study Group’s petition calling for the introduction of a state-regulated licensing system for all gamebird hunting in Scotland.

You may recall the petition was submitted to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee last summer. That Committee took evidence in October 2016 from the SRSG and RSPB Scotland (see here) and then evidence from the Scottish Moorland Group and BASC in December 2016 (see here) before deciding to pass the petition to the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee for further consideration.

This morning the ECCLR Committee spent 7 minutes discussing the petition and various ways forward. The video of this morning’s discussion can be viewed here (the relevant start time is 1:46.11) and the official transcript can be read here (starts at page 37): ecclr-transcript-31-jan-2017

One Committee member, Alexander Burnett MSP (Scottish Conservative & Unonist Party, Aberdeenshire West), declared his shooting interests before suggesting that the petition should be dismissed outright because, amongst other things, “those who shoot are already licensed by extremely rigorous shotgun and firearms regimes“. He clearly hasn’t been following the case of the East Arkengarthdale Estate gamekeeper who was able to keep his shotgun and firearms certificates, despite admitting his involvement with an illegal poisons cache (see here).

Fortunately, Mr Burnett’s suggestion found no support from other Committee members and a decision was made to:

(a) Write to the Environment Cabinet Secretary to ask when the gamebird licensing review will be published, and to suggest that it be made available pronto so the ECCLR Committee can continue deliberations without further delay. It was suggested that the Committee would like to be in a position to proceed by March. (Remember, the publication of this review is already overdue and this delay is now affecting other areas of Parliamentary process).

(b) Write to the Environment Cabinet Secretary and ask for her opinion on the effectiveness of other measures such as vicarious liability, general licences etc.

(c) After receipt of the gamebird licensing review, and following a short period of time to consider its findings, the ECCLR Committee will potentially invite the Petitioner (Logan Steele of the Scottish Raptor Study Group) and a range of stakeholders to give further evidence.

UPDATE 22 Feb 2017: letter-from-ecclr-convenor-to-cab-sec-re-petition-pe1615_7feb2017

UPDATE 6 April 2017: Cab Sec letter to ECCLR re gamebird licensing_7March2017


6 Responses to “ECCLR Committee’s latest thoughts on gamebird licensing petition”

  1. January 31, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Well that’s going to ruffle a few feathers. Just a hint of them actually taking things seriously!

  2. 2 heclasu
    January 31, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Good for them!

  3. January 31, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Well done Logan….keep at it…

  4. 5 ian rubery
    January 31, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Three useful actions decided [but make the third action c), not b)!]

    [Ed: thanks, Ian – done!]

  5. 6 Alex Milne
    January 31, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    I’m starting to believe something worthwhile might happen, but up to now there have been so many disappointments…

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