SLE statement on RSPB licensing consultation

Press Release

Scottish Land & Estates, whose members include land businesses with shooting interests across Scotland, issued the following statement in view of the outcome announced at the RSPB AGM in regard to licensing of gamebird shooting.

Sarah Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The outcome announced today is not surprising given the direction of the consultation.

“A massive amount of conservation work takes place on land managed for shooting in Scotland. Shoot operators and gamekeepers are already subject to extensive regulation and legislation that protects a tremendous array of wildlife and precious habitat. It’s important to remember that shooting occurs on farm and croft land right across Scotland and is an important part of both tourism and a balanced approach to species management.  

“The licensing of shooting is unnecessary. Many of the environmental issues used as evidence for licensing are already being addressed conscientiously by the shooting community. Nor would it resolve wildlife crime - the only way to do so is through everyone working together to help Police Scotland improve detection and prosecution, measures which SLE is working with other stakeholders on. In addition, this approach would jeopardise jobs in our most fragile rural areas in the midst of an economic crisis.

“We are among a number of rural organisations which this week asked the Scottish Government to endorse a new, science-based blueprint for the future of shooting which is in line with accepted international standards. We hope the Scottish Government takes this into account before it brings forward its response to the recent review into grouse moor management.”