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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5O-01810
Asked by: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 14 February 2018

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what further measures it is considering to address the persecution of birds of prey.

Current status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 21 February 2018


Answer

I was extremely concerned to hear about the recent disappearance of a satellite tagged golden eagle in the Pentland Hills. While we may never know exactly what happened to this bird, the circumstances are clearly suspicious. This is especially true when taken in the context of the satellite tagging report that I commissioned and was published last May. This showed that around one third of tagged eagles have disappeared in similar circumstances with many on or near driven grouse moors.

Since the report was published we have set up a review group to examine how we can ensure grouse moor management is sustainable and compliant with the law. The group, which will also consider possible regulatory options including licensing, met for the first time last month and will report back to me in Spring 2019. I await their findings with great interest.

I am also pleased to say that we are supporting a new Police Wildlife Crime Investigative Support Officer post which has now been filled. This officer will bring expertise to wildlife crime investigations across Scotland. We also expect shortly to launch a pilot project to use Special Constables to tackle wildlife crime in the Cairngorms National Park. These new measures build upon existing work, and demonstrate our commitment to put a stop to the wildlife crime that still occurs in parts of our countryside.