Alison Johnstone MSP lodges parliamentary motion on raven cull licence

Further to yesterday’s blog about a series of Parliamentary questions lodged by Claudia Beamish MSP (Labour, South Scotland) on the raven cull licence (here), another MSP has also raised political concerns.

Alison Johnstone MSP (Scottish Greens, Lothian) lodged the following Parliamentary motion on 30 April 2018:

Motion S5M-11986

That the Parliament expresses concern that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has granted a licence to the Strathbraan Community Collaboration for Waders, which authorises the killing of 300 ravens; notes that this will take place in an area of Perthshire where eagles, which have been satellite-tagged have, it understands, previously disappeared and where the illegal persecution of raptors is believed to be well-documented; understands that this is as part of an experiment, which reportedly has no control measure in place, to assess the impact of such a cull on the wader population; regrets what it sees as the lack of consultation with expert organisations, including the Scottish Raptor Study Group and the RSPB; understands that these groups maintain that there “is no justification for this extreme course of action”; believes that there is a lack of robust scientific evidence to support this action; understands with regret that it is only now, following a notable and concerted public outcry, that SNH is calling on its Scientific Advisory Council to scrutinise the cull, and calls for the withdrawal of the research licence and the removal of the open general licence in this area as a matter of urgency.

Well done, Alison, and thank you for doing what every politician should be doing – holding power to account on behalf of the public.

Meanwhile, the public petition calling for a halt to this raven cull licence has now reached over 147,000 signatures. If you haven’t yet signed it, please consider adding your name HERE

[Raven photo by Dieter Schaeffer]


19 Responses to “Alison Johnstone MSP lodges parliamentary motion on raven cull licence”

  1. 1 AnMac
    May 9, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Well done Alison, this will bring this affair to more public scrutiny and question the decision made by SNH to allow this licence application in the first place.

  2. 2 John Keith
    May 9, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Excellent and to the point.

  3. 3 Ron Bury
    May 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Let’s hope the scottish government takes appropriate and responsible action.

  4. 4 George M
    May 9, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Thank you Alison, for leading from the front…. again. They appear to have stirred up a hornet’s nest on this occasion.

  5. 5 crypticmirror
    May 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I hope it leads to a wider moratorium on culls, because our waterbirds are really getting hammered by them in SW Scotland and Ayrshire too thanks to pressure from angling groups. We need a full audit of Scotland’s wildlife and habitat availability, an independent audit too, before issuing a single other cull licence.

  6. 6 lizzybusy
    May 9, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I’m sorry to put you RP in this position. I’ve received an urgent message to check out the welfare of a bird but I can’t get out there and everyone else I can think of can’t help for one reason or another.

    I have no information other than this anonymous message –

    [Ed: main text deleted as sensitive information. Lizzybusy, please contact the following, immediately:

    RSPB Scotland Investigations Team: 0131-317-4187
    SSPCA Investigations Team: 03000-999-999 ]

  7. 10 ICT
    May 9, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    It’s beyond me why the Scottish Government hasn’t intervened on this unscientific “free for all” long ago, before they too become contaminated with SNH’s bile!

    • 11 Dougie
      May 9, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      I would not be too surprised at what is done by the Scottish Gov. They have their own number one priority agenda endlessly simmering in the background and often bubbling over. They will always favour whatever wind blows them towards their goal.
      Long before now legislative action could easily have been taken to hammer those behind wildlife persecution. The fact that it has not happened is undeniable proof that the desire does not exist.
      Every instance of wildlife crime is no more than a prompt to issue the usual repeated platitudes about how it will not be tolerated. Too many people in power are merely purveyors of banal drivel.

  8. May 9, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    of particular note to me are the last few words of the final sentence “and the removal of the open general licence in this area as a matter of urgency” – getting onto the front foot and addressing the deeper concerns about who this licence is being granted to. Good stuff!

  9. 13 lizzybusy
    May 10, 2018 at 8:17 am

    “calls for … the removal of the open general licence in this area”. I was a little confused by this statement. Can a general license be removed for a particular area? Ravens aren’t on general licenses yet despite repeated campaigns to get them on that easy to comply with license so I was unclear about that. If the research license is removed then they’re protected under tighter individual license rules. That’s my understanding at least.

    • May 10, 2018 at 10:32 am

      I think she was referring to the highly suspicious disappearance of eagles and the previous crimes in the area. This should be enough to remove the General License and the RSPB have also mentioned this aspect but as the latest post about another missing eagle and the previous criminal incidences on Invercauld show, the government agencies involved hide behind a cloak of secrecy and rarely do the right thing.

  10. May 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I haven’t seen them but i was told today by a sheep farmer that the farming press is writing a lot on this Raven cull. Apparently they don’t have any doubts that this is about grouse.

  11. May 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Response from one MSP – not unexpectedly, it reiterates all the well-worn phrases and obviously does not support Alison Johnstone’s motion to the Scottish Parliament! I have forwarded the email to Alison Johnstone MSP.

  12. 17 lizzybusy
    May 21, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Did the other parties support this motion in the numbers needed?

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