Costs/benefits study of driven grouse shooting due to begin spring 2018

In September 2017 the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee considered petition # PE01633, submitted by Les Wallace, calling on the Scottish Government to sponsor a comprehensive and independent study into the full economic impacts of driven grouse shooting.

The Petitions Committee agreed that a full independent study was needed but was unsure whether this topic would be covered as part of the Scottish Government’s earlier commitment in May to undertake a review of grouse moor management practices.

There was also confusion as to whether the Scottish Government had actually commissioned this research yet, and the Committee agreed to contact the Scottish Government to ask for an update on progress and to ask for a timescale (e.g. start / finish date) of that proposed work.

The Scottish Government has now responded to the Petitions Committee with this:

It’s our understanding that this commissioned research on the economic and biodiversity costs/benefits of driven grouse shooting (and other types of upland land use) is separate to the other main piece of work announced by Roseanna Cunningham five months ago in May 2017 – that being ‘to set up an independently-led group to look at the environmental impact of grouse moor management practices such as muirburn, the use of medicated grit and mountain hare culls, and to recommend options for regulation including licensing and other measures which could be put in place without new primary legislation‘.

We are expecting details of this independently-led environmental impact review group to be announced by Friday 10th November, as requested by the Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee last month.

6 thoughts on “Costs/benefits study of driven grouse shooting due to begin spring 2018”

  1. Yes, congratulations on this…if the two studies are carried out with scientific rigour but also with a true visionary perspective on possible alternative land uses, we could be looking at a landmark in the history of land management in both scotland and uk upland areas…..Im sure that RPUK will not let those in charge sit on this one when it is done!

    1. The original announcement that they were looking into such a survey was made just before the petition came live, but whilst it was being reviewed by the petitions team, so was almost certainly on the cards anyway, but I hope the petition has increased the chances that it will not only be an independent one (again though think it was unlikely it would be otherwise) and most importantly a comprehensive one. If issues such as potential negative impact on game angling via muir burn and conflict between traditional grouse moor ‘management’ and natural flood alleviation initiatives get looked at plus how many jobs are being pushed away by extensive and intensive nature of DGS which compromises/nullifies opportunities for virtually everything else then it is virtually impossible to see how DGS will come out of this well. It would be all so easy for such topics to be ‘missed’ and thereby radically alter the outcome and honesty of the report. Seriously doubt that will or could happen now, but will do no harm to make sure! Thanks for all the support RPUK!

  2. If history is anything to go by, it will be the same old mob, tarted up to comply with “new” conditions for maintaining the status quo forever, after any cost/benefit analysis takes place. I am sure there is enough information present already to give a clear picture of what would be necessary to make Scotland a model place with a humane and sustainable landscape management plan. The fish farms, shooting estates and any other exploiter of the environment, with plenty of accusations against them for breaking the law, and operating in a cruel way, will still be with us to prop up some political party scrabbling for the creation/maintaining low paid and seasonal jobs. We need an assertion of the informed and humanely concerned public that no longer will the decent people of Scotland tolerate a fiefdom society, which is just a playground for those who can afford to shoot thousands of grouse. A landowning dominance that has distorted law enforcement in its favour, and made a mock of hard fought for laws to protect the environment and wildlife. Scotland deserves better, as it has the most air polluted city in the UK, Glasgow, along with a dreadful drug/alcohol abuse record. Relative poverty is high and low paid jobs abound, that do not cover the Living Wage. Violent crime takes us almost to the top of the UK record. Health record is another area of concern, with the NHS costs escalating. An ageing population and a big outflow of qualified people. A police authority without a supreme being and a culture of bullying of staff.

    With our astounding record of having quite a lot of claims to be negative, in many areas of measuring how successful we are in solving our problems, we have to see that our concern for wildlife conservation has to be enfolded into a grand plan to make Scotland an overall good society in which to exist. We have to show our politicians that we will no longer accept reports with inbuilt bias, that creates obstacles to changing our society in a positive way. Resources will always be scarce in Scotland, due to our economy and to the heavy dependency of those who are mentally and physically ill; those who live chosen lives of being criminal and anti-social; of those on low pay not commensurate with a Living Wage; of high emigration of skilled workers and graduates, and more. We can no longer tolerate those who are using our country as a playing field, and maintaining that status by incorrectly asserting that they are essential for the Scottish rural economy, when that can be open to challenge with a new type of economy for rural matters, that would guarantee a wage structure guaranteeing a living wage, and continuing employment, away from the ghillie/coolly existence. Our colleges and universities should be reformed into producing the correct skills for the new economy. Of course there is a place for estates with rational and law abiding owners, who employ gamekeepers and land managers who work within the new parameters necessary for a humane industry. Scotland badly needs a new type of politician, civil servant and law enforcement system that works fairly and without taint. Possible? Yes, but it will require getting rid of the nod and wink; the old boy and girl network of privilege and distortion of reality, and creating a new breed of well-trained rural work force that will replace any of the old ways long overdue to the dustbin. Finally, a non-acceptance of allowing just anyone to buy land in Scotland and to do as they please with it.

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