Scottish Land & Estates has issued a response following a court ruling to fine a South West gamekeeper for the illegal poisoning of a buzzard.
Chief Executive Douglas McAdam said:
“We fully support today’s court decision to impose a £4,450 fine on a gamekeeper convicted of buzzard poisoning; close to the maximum for such a crime.
“Scottish Land & Estates has repeatedly stated the illegal poisoning of birds of prey has no part to play in modern game management. It is also a danger to other wildlife, domestic animals and potentially humans. Industry organisations have worked hard to get that message across to their members and the number of such incidents has dropped dramatically in the last three years. Our longstanding policy is that if a member is convicted of such a crime, membership will be revoked. We can confirm that the estate in question is no longer a member of Scottish Land & Estates.
“A set of industry-wide guidelines was drawn up in 2010 detailing the non-lethal scaring techniques that gamekeepers can use if buzzard predation is becoming a serious problem. Practical advice booklets are widely available. It is therefore particularly disappointing that the gamekeeper in this case did not exercise such recommended techniques and instead chose to implement an outdated and illegal practice”.