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Statement on review into grouse moor management

Scottish Land & Estates today issued the following statement regarding the review into grouse moor management.

David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: "We recognise fully the need to maintain efforts to eradicate any persecution of protected bird species even though such incidents are now at a historically low level. There is no question that the few people who continue to engage in such illegal activity are grievously undermining the very valuable social, economic and environmental contribution of grouse shooting to our rural communities.

"The publication of the report on satellite-tagged eagles today is challenging reading for the grouse shooting industry even though it is recognised that satellite tags have also stopped working in areas where grouse moors are not located.

"We support the Cabinet Secretary's announcement of an independent expert group - and the importance of it being independent and evidence-led cannot be overstated. We wholeheartedly support the Cabinet's Secretary's commitment to increasing police resources and are pleased she has recognised the valuable role of gamekeepers and the need for research into the costs and benefits of large shooting estates to Scotland.

"Action needs to be taken against wildlife crime and we believe in a two-fold approach of punishment and prevention is the most effective way forward.

"We look forward to putting forward with vigour our own proposals for increased punitive and preventative measures that we think can make a difference.

"There has been much heated debate over this issue recently and it is essential that whatever action is taken going forward, it is based on evidence and clear thinking rather than any inherent prejudice against game shooting."

 

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