Petitioner: Logan Steele on behalf of Scottish Raptor Study Group
22 August 2016
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to implement urgent action to introduce a state regulated system of licensing of gamebird hunting, that addresses the potentially adverse environmental impact of gamebird hunting, provides for the revocation or amendment of licences where a licence-holder fails to comply with their terms and conditions, and to implement the recommendations of the Review of Wildlife Crime Penalties in Scotland.
The petitioner has also collected 416 hard copy signatures.
27 October 2016: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 27 October 2016
10 November 2016: The Committee agreed to invite the Scottish Moorland Group
and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation to give evidence at a
future Committee meeting. Link to Official Report 10 November 2016
8 December 2016: The Committee agreed to refer the petition to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee under Rule 15.6.2 of Standing Orders. Link to Official Report 8 December 2016
20 December 2016: The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee considered the petition and agreed to consider its approach to PE1615 on the State regulated licensing system for gamebird hunting in Scotland at a future meeting. Link to Official report 20 December 2016
31 January 2017: The Committee has agreed to write to the Cabinet
Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform for further
clarification on the operation of current
legislation in this area and the timescales for publication of the SNH
commissioned research on gamebird licensing systems in selected other
countries. The Committee will then consider what further action is required at
We maintain that those involved with gamebird hunting have had many warnings from the Scottish Government over a long time period to get their house in order and show that self regulation of this sector is workable. There is good evidence that the illegal killing of birds of prey has continued unabated in many places, and that some land management practices designed to promote gamebird hunting are being shown to be becoming increasingly intensive and unsustainable:
- Do you agree that the time has now come to introduce a gamebird hunting licensing system in Scotland to protect the public interest?
- Do you agree that a future licensing system should include powers for the public authorities in Scotland to revoke or amend the licence if conditions (such as adherence to laws to protect birds of prey) are broken?
- Do you agree that a licensing approach to gamebird hunting would act as a meaningful deterrent to illegal or bad practice?
- Do you agree that SNH should have a more formal role in collecting gamebird hunting bag data, as part of a licensing return, to inform future sustainable hunting practices?
We understand that most other countries in Europe have some form of system of licensing of gamebird hunting, whilst Scotland already has systems to ensure the sustainable management of other natural resources such as deer and salmon.
- What can we in Scotland learn from gamebird hunting licensing systems employed elsewhere in Europe, or from other systems of natural resources management here?
- Would law-abiding and responsible managers of gamebird hunting enterprises have anything to fear from a licensing system, given experience in other countries?