Scottish Government statement on recent raptor persecution crimes

The Scottish Government has finally made a statement about the recent raptor persecution crimes.

The statement is about as impressive as the one from Leadhills Estate, just shorter but no less pathetic.

It appears to be a forced statement, made after a direct request from a journalist (Sean Bell from CommonSpace) rather than a proactive statement posted on the Government’s website to clarify its position.

Ready for this?

From an unnamed Government spokesperson:

The continued targeting of birds of prey is an extremely serious issue and we strongly condemn all those involved in it. We would urge anyone with information to contact the police. 

We are determined to protect birds of prey and have established an independent group to look at how we can ensure grouse moor management is sustainable and complies with the law. 

The review is due to report later this summer and we will consider fully any recommendations or proposed actions put forward by the group“.

The full article at CommonSpace can be read here.

It’s no wonder it took so long for the Government to say anything. It’s pretty clear from this that it has nothing new to say at all – just the same old rhetoric and platitudes and vague statements that don’t actually amount to anything. At all.

Here’s a stark reminder of the effectiveness the Scottish Government’s so-called ‘determination to protect birds of prey’. The spring-trapped hen harrier. He didn’t make it, despite the very best efforts of specialist vet Romain Pizzi and his team at the Scottish SPCA. [Photo by Ruth Tingay]

How many more victims will there be while we wait for the Scottish Government to actually do something?

Emails (polite ones, please) to the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon at: firstminister@gov.scot 

21 Responses to “Scottish Government statement on recent raptor persecution crimes”

  1. 1 Carl earrye
    July 16, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Load of shit cover up ££££££££

  2. 2 Dougie
    July 16, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Worthless !

  3. 3 Simon Tucker
    July 16, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Complacent scum

  4. 5 Iain Gibson
    July 16, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    How can Nicola Sturgeon claim to take seriously the persecution of raptors in Scotland? She may well care personally, but just saying she cares without determined action just allows and encourages xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxto carry on with their heinous activities virtually unchallenged. They’re laughing at you Nicola, because your Government shows very little determination xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

  5. 6 Loki
    July 17, 2019 at 12:07 am

    The primary goal of the Scottish Government is to protect the economy. They are not going to save our hen harriers. The sooner we realise this the better.

    • 7 Dougie
      July 17, 2019 at 10:15 am

      I had formed the opinion that the primary purpose of the Scottish Government has become to justify it’s own existence. It is not readily apparent what added value it brings.

  6. 8 R Stuart Craig
    July 17, 2019 at 8:10 am

    S N P See Nae Problem M S P Mair Small-minded Pathetic

  7. 9 Mairi L
    July 17, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Does anyone ever get any sort of reply to their e-mails, even just an automatic acknowledgement? I’ve sent 2 ( very polite) on 26/6 and 2/7 and the silence has been deafening. Lack of courtesy speaks volumes!

  8. 10 Paul V Irving
    July 17, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Pathetic, and all the indications are that unless pushed, cajoled and possibly threatened they will do———Fuck all.

  9. 11 Bimbling
    July 17, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Complacent. No risk to their position. New Cabinet Secretary needed now.

  10. 12 Brendan Drive
    July 17, 2019 at 10:42 am

    If the Scottish Governemnet wanted to reduce wildlife crime they would have accepted the offer from SSPCA and given them the additional powers.

    This offer was at no additional cost to the tax payer and utilise the expertise of an organisation with a proven track record in this area.

    Since turning this offer down the government has done nothing as an alternative.

    It would appear that SSPCA did almost everything in relation to the trapped harrier but did not have the necessary powers to enter the land at the time and recover vital evidence.

  11. 13 Fight for Fairness
    July 17, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I, like many others are fed up with the platitudes that surround the issue in Scotland. However, at least the SNP have undertaken the Werrity review and have promised to act on its findings, which is much more than the Tory government in Westminster have done. I will be contacting my MSP to press for more urgent action bit I cannot deny my disappointment that more hasn’t been done already.

  12. 14 Bimbling
    July 17, 2019 at 11:28 am

    So, instead of, or as well as a suspension of the General licence perhaps the Cabinet Secretary could take some extra action like getting Scottish Government lawyers to investigate the ease with which the close season for grouse could be extended for 12 months across specific areas of land. That might actually have an impact on thede lawbreakers.

  13. 15 WMP
    July 17, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    This is no longer simply a question of protecting supposedly “protected wildlife” from those who seek to illegally harm it. Nor is it any longer a question of who owns Scotland. It is now a question of who runs Scotland. The vast numbers of little people who democratically exercise their vote or the important few who feel that it is their right to ignore any laws that do not suit them. Over the twenty years or its life the Scottish Parliament has enacted some excellent wildlife legislation but words are cheap, action requires interest, determination and resources. For the Scottish Parliament to be worth anything it needs to ensure that the legislation it debates and passes is enforced by the police and the fiscal service without fear or favour. If and when that happens we may be able to say that we are living in a real democracy with a real Parliament and a government that has the vision and the guts to govern.

  14. 16 The Fifer
    July 17, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Looks like the Government are not expecting Werrity to recommend a complete ban on driven grouse moors.

    “We are determined to protect birds of prey and have established an independent group to look at how we can ensure grouse moor management is sustainable and complies with the law”.

    I am not sure of the regs, but what is the basis for a removal of General Licence? In light of recent events will they be considering removal at Lead hills or Achnafree.

  15. July 17, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    There is only one way of protecting raptors and that is to introduce strict licensing of grouse shooting estates, with licenses issued ONLY in areas where there is ABSOLUTELY NO evidence of wildlife crime. None. That would concentrate the minds of landowners and persuade them to take active steps to prevent raptor persecution rather than pay disingenuous lip service.




    This response from the Scottish government is appalling if not predictable. Until the myth is exploded that grouse moors are a necessary and vital part of the economy I fear that not much will change. The truth is though that so called sporting estates are heavily subsidised; their only function is to denature the landscape so imbeciles can indulge their bloodlust and perpetuate a systems of landownership, power and patronage dating back to feudal times.

    I have been on a short break in NE Scotland this last week and have seen many buzzards, several hawks and falcons, ravens, a young eagle and a male hen harrier. How anybody can shoot, trap or otherwise murder these birds is beyond me, but then I am not consumed by bloodlust and would quite happily see all so called sporting estates wiped from the map.

  16. 18 RP
    July 17, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Sadly, I can almost guarantee that any edge the Werritty review has will be completely smoothed by the people who are in a position to make actual changes. These aren’t the actions of a party who want to take on vested interests. Their unwillingness to act on scientific evidence makes them complicit in raptor persecution and environmental destruction associated with driven grouse shooting.

  17. July 18, 2019 at 7:53 am

    A licensing system will be ineffective and just delay the only sustainable outcome. An outright ban on driven shooting and the practices that support it will be the final outcome. But going down the road of licensing just opens up several paddocks of extra long grass…years an years of procrastination. The licences will be tested for a few years, then adjusted, then tested, then toughened more testing….. it will probably add decades of delay to get to he point where the logic of a ban is obvious as the natural conclusion.

    I do not expect anything useful to come out of the Werritty review. it was set up to fail- well it was set up to uncover “areas” where further research is required. So rather than coming to a definitive conclusion, it will only point to years of research projects “needed” to inform the future decision making process. Werritty is a political tool for the justification of delay.

    The SNP need to grow a pair and simply recognise the volume moral and environmental arguments and make the choice now. It might not be popular with Fergus but their voters will embrace it as part of building a new right thinking Scotland.

  18. July 18, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Mark Avery and below the line comments on this blog and i sense RPUK itself are not optimistic about the Werrity Review. I would be interested in their reasoning although after reading such comments and the silence of the high heidyin i have become very worried. Previous to those comments i had thought that licensing was a pretty much given. It is the very least that could be done. Because of that i stopped writing to the minister/cab sec every time there was a raptor crime. Up until that time i had got up to 11 letters, once i started numbering them ‘Zero Tolerance #1’ etc. Now i am back into full pre-emptive mode in case Mark is right and went through all the RPUK blog-posts which i would normally have sent. There were 43 of them covering just 2 years! So they got all 43 in one post, which took hours to compile.
    My MSP, one of the previous Environmental Ministers, tells me it is rude to point out that all the ministers have achieved nothing. In what other profession could you get away with this incompetence and then claim that to point it out is being rude. Funnily enough my ‘rudeness’ was all he wrote about and raptor crime got not a mention. I wrote back asking if he felt personally involved and that too got ignored.
    But back to the Weritty , i was reading Alan Stewarts blog-post covering the recent events and he too thinks that licensing is inevitable.
    I am normally pessimistic, i knew that brood persecution would happen, but on the Werrity Review all logic points to them having to licence grouse moors. How can they not? No sensible person could suggest otherwise.

    My MSP also tells me i should be encouraging so my encouragement would be for all the previous ministers to get together and make a commitment to stamp out raptor crime on grouse moors within 5 years, at the very most 10. If that can’t be achieved then just ban the whole thing and the grouse-mafia with it.

    Better to ban it now but i too doubt anyone has the guts to do that.

    Incidentally he has a good suggestion that every estate should have to have a nominated person to take responsibility for raptor crime.
    I am not sure that numbering snares would help. The criminals would just file off the numbers or get them somehow without numbers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog Stats

  • 5,728,587 hits


Our recent blog visitors