Scottish Government dragging its feet on grouse moor management review

Following last week’s blog about how an announcement was imminent on the formation and composition of the independently-led grouse moor management review group, another deadline has been and gone.

As you’ll recall, Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced this review on 31 May 2017, following the Scottish Raptor Study Group’s petition calling for game-shoot licensing as well as the publication of the Golden Eagle Satellite Tag Review, which demonstrated that almost a third of all satellite-tagged golden eagles in Scotland (41 of 131 eagles) had ‘disappeared’, many in suspicious circumstances on grouse moor estates with a track record of confirmed raptor persecution incidents.

In mid-September 2017 Roseanna told the Scottish Parliament,

Good progress is being made” and “I will announce further details shortly“.

In October 2017 the Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee wrote to the Cab Sec asking for a progress report on the establishment of this group. Roseanna replied on 1 November 2017 and said,

I can inform you that I expect to announce the chair and members of the group within the next couple of weeks”.

It’s now 20th November and we’re still waiting for an announcement.

Where’s the sense of urgency? Nearly six months have passed. Just how difficult is it to put together a review group?

Come on, Scottish Government, stop dragging your feet and don’t undo the goodwill generated by the Cab Sec’s announcement back in May.

8 thoughts on “Scottish Government dragging its feet on grouse moor management review”

  1. Its simple, their (SNP) hearts are not in it ,they are trying to appease everybody, while all the time hoping it will all go away and it probably would if it wasn’t for RPUK and the like. Just been reading Dave Dicks Wildlife Crime again, and one enlightening point he makes (one of many) is when he draws an analogy between the treatment egg and skin thieves and raptor killers. The former received huge amounts of publicity, cooperation between agencies involved was very good, the full range of deterrents were used and the activity was seen as the disgusting activity that it is. If we compare this to raptor persecution the differences are clear to see , protected by Judges , JP’s ,Police ,special constables, the government, landowners (often in very powerful positions) and the finest QC’s that no” egger” could afford, the sorry litany of destruction goes on and on. The powers are there to be used , to change perceptions, and to make real change , but the will is not there and the dark side is too strong.

    1. Thanks for the name check J Coogan – the only thing that’s changed since I wrote that [and experienced it!] is that now there are many people openly agreeing with me, no one on the conservation side wanted to face up to the truth of the situation and thought there were simple fixes within the justice system, when the whole system is shaky at best….When the problems are moved up into Big Politics [as opposed to “just” the Police/Courts/NGOs/Quangos] we have exactly the same problems of lack of understanding/wilful denial of the situation. The raptor problem has always been about power and tradition, who holds it [politicians or landowners] and who has the guts to speak the truth and then actually do something about it…..We have barely moved an inch on this problem in the last 60 years.

    2. I would be sorely disappointed if the SNP’s hearts were not in this. They rapidly turned round a move to repeal the Hunting Act in England and Wales last year, and appear to be in favour of banning hunting altogether in Scotland [ we live in hope]. I will email Roseanna and remind her of her party’s compassionate history. Always better a carrot……

  2. I feel sadly vindicated now for being critical when this review was initially announced. The SG’s focus is the economy, not wildlife. ‘Kicked into the long grass’ springs to mind.

  3. Well said J Coogan and Dave D. But oh my, it sure is frustrating and I am fast losing faith in Roseanna.

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