Douglas McAdam, Chief Executive, Scottish Land & Estates, which represents around 2,500 landowners in Scotland, said: “The official government statistics were issued by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture last month and were commented upon widely by police, government and other organisations.
"The illegal poisoning of any birds is to be condemned outright. Landowners are working hard in partnership with police and other organisations to help eradicate this. This requires a sustained approach over time and there is evidence these joint efforts are beginning to pay off. There has been a significant decrease in illegal poisoning incidents in the first half of this year at a time when some species are increasing rapidly and now number tens of thousands, the highest overall for nearly a hundred years. This decrease reflects serious partnership working in this area and needs to be sustained. It is regrettable that RSPB, who are part of that collaborative effort, continue to point fingers at a time when real progress is being made.
“Poisoning is a complex issue as we can see from the fact that many more birds are killed accidentally by agricultural rodenticides than by deliberate poisoning. We are wholly committed to dealing with this issue and the most productive way forward is for everyone to continue to work together constructively.”