Following on from the news that Nigel Don MSP has lodged a Scottish parliamentary motion asking the Scottish Government to consider what further measures it can take to protect golden eagles (see here), another MSP has ramped up the pressure by adding an amendment to the original motion. Here it is:
Motion S4M-04516.1: Claudia Beamish, South Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 25/10/2012
Death of Golden Eagle
As an amendment to motion S4M-04516 in the name of Nigel Don (Death of Golden Eagle), insert at end; “is further appalled by the shooting of another golden eagle in the south of Scotland; urges the Scottish Government to build on the initial work carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage in Commissioned Report No. 193: A conservation framework for golden eagles: implications for their conservation and management in Scotland to develop an action plan for the next steps for golden eagle conservation in Scotland, and further urges the Scottish government to use the Year of Natural Scotland as an opportunity to educate young people about ecology and the role of predators in a healthy ecosystem, especially since the golden eagle is identified by Scottish Natural Heritage as one of the five flagship species for this initiative.
The full text of the amendment can be read here. You may also notice that the number of supporting MSPs listed underneath the original motion has grown to 32. We understand that parliamentary motions are ‘live’ for up to six weeks, during which time MSPs can add their support. The motion can be called for a debate if the number of supporting MSPs passes 30 and are representative of at least two political parties. It looks like they’ll be debating this particular motion.
We are certain that this motion (and its amendment) was triggered by the number of people writing to complain about the two recent shocking incidents involving the illegal persecution of golden eagles in Scotland (see here and here). Don’t think for a minute that you can’t make a difference. Look at what happened with ‘buzzardgate’ – a complete u-turn due to massive public opposition. Look at what happened yesterday with the proposed badger cull – a complete u-turn (although Owen Paterson denies this) and an overwhelming majority parliamentary vote against the cull going ahead.
The frequent frustrations expressed on this blog, by us and by you, could easily lead to an apathetic position of ‘What’s the point?’ That’s understandable, but it’s not a workable position. We may not be able to influence change as quickly as we would like, but we stand a much better chance of doing so if we’re still in the game. Will this latest motion (and its amendment) make any difference in the long term? Who knows, we’ll have to wait and see. The cynics amongst us will say ‘No, of course it won’t’. But even if it doesn’t, the issue is still kept in the public eye and the pressure is still building. One of these days that pressure is going to explode.