Grouse shooting sector welcomes wildlife crime report which shows ‘real progress’ in tackling raptor persecution

Press Release

Following the publication of the annual wildlife crime report today by the Scottish Government, Scottish Land & Estates has issued the following statement.

Sarah Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “We share the Scottish Government’s ambition to address urgently climate change and biodiversity and agree that tackling wildlife crime is part of action needed.

“There is no place for wildlife crime of any sort in Scotland today. However, today’s report does show that progress is being made.

“Raptor persecution offences recorded their second lowest figure in five years (17 offences) which is less than half of the overall offences against all types of birds. We believe less than half of the 17 raptor offences took place in grouse shooting areas. However, there is no room for complacency and SLE and its members are committed to doing all we can to help prevent, detect and prosecute those responsible for wildlife crime.

“We are pleased the government has recognised the importance of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime Scotland which we are involved in and Heads Up For Harriers, a scheme where the number of participating estates has gone from five to 28.

“We hope this clear progress on dealing with the raptor issue is taken into account as government brings forward its plans to introduce a licensing scheme for the grouse sector – a measure we believe is disproportionate and could have a serious impact on rural communities and the environmental and biodiversity benefits delivered by moorland management.”