Gamebird shoot licensing: Environment Committee to review progress tomorrow

The Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee will meet tomorrow to discuss progress on the petition calling for the introduction of state-regulated licensing for gamebird hunting.

As you know, this petition was lodged with the Public Petitions Committee in the summer of 2016 by Logan Steele, on behalf of the Scottish Raptor Study Group (SRSG). The Petitions 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 Committee for further consideration.

The Environment Committee first considered the petition in January 2017 (here) and then heard evidence from various organisations (SRSG, RSPB Scotland, SNH, SGA and SLE) in April 2017 (here).

On the basis of those evidence sessions, on 23 May 2017 the Environment Committee agreed to keep the petition open and to write to Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham (see letter here) to recommend that the Scottish Government explores the implementation of a licensing scheme for grouse moor shooting, much to the disappointment of the grouse shooting industry which doesn’t think licensing is necessary and basically just wants to maintain the status quo.

The following week, on 31 May 2017, the Environment Secretary announced a significant package of measures designed to protect raptors and to investigate the wider environmental and economic impacts of grouse moor management:

Since that announcement on 31 May 2017 we’ve heard very little more, although in mid-September Roseanna Cunningham told the Scottish Parliament that “good progress is being made” and that she will “announce further details shortly“.

Perhaps we’ll get an announcement this week? It’s good to see the Environment Committee isn’t letting this issue slide.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be available to watch live on Scottish Parliament TV (here) (Committee Room 1 from 10am) and we’ll post an archive of the video and the official transcript when available.

UPDATE 3 October 2017: Environment Committee to seek ‘detailed update’ on licensing petition (here)


6 Responses to “Gamebird shoot licensing: Environment Committee to review progress tomorrow”

  1. 1 michael gill
    October 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Excellent … it’s creaking away

  2. 2 Tim Dixon
    October 2, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    I predict now that comments will soon come in along the lines that we will get nowhere unless gamebird shooting is banned now, forthwith and tout de suite and settling for anything less is just pandering to the evil, vested interests of the plutocratic land-owning classes. These opinions are sincerely held I’m sure but it’s not how change happens in the UK – like it or not.
    It is the steady drip, drip, drip; the slow and steady turn of the ratchet; the constant pressure of well argued social and scientific argument that makes the opposition writhe into further and further contorted positions as they try to defend the indefensible.
    So well done to Logan, SRSG, RPUK, Mark Avery et al for doggedly not letting go and well done to the Scottish Parliament for taking this seriously.
    The world will not change overnight but change it will.

  3. 4 Les Wallace
    October 3, 2017 at 11:34 am

    What a brilliant achievement on the part of Logan, Andrea and Duncan. Hope it all goes well for them and our raptors!

  4. 5 Iain Gibson
    October 4, 2017 at 3:08 am

    What valuable role of gamekeepers?

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