In a desperate attempt to regain the narrative, this afternoon Scottish Natural Heritage has issued a further statement to try and justify its ridiculous decision to grant a licence to gamekeepers, permitting the mass killing of ravens in a noted wildlife crime hotspot, on the basis of ‘seeing what happens’.
Part of the latest statement is reproduced from the quote SNH provided to The Times yesterday, and there’s a bit of extra PR gloss (i.e. this is a “limited trial“) applied for good measure. Noticeably, the statement does not include the words ‘raven cull’.
Unfortunately, but not unsurprisingly, the statement fails to address any of the serious concerns raised about the licence. Perhaps that’s deliberate, because answering those questions would undoubtedly expose the flawed process behind this licensing decision, like issuing the licence first, in secret, and then assessing its scientific credibility sometime later but only after being challenged by sceptical conservationists.
Here’s the latest SNH statement:
It also hasn’t escaped our notice that SNH has avoided answering the very simple question we posed this morning: Has the raven cull licence been suspended whilst the Scientific Advisory Committee undertakes its review?
We put this straightforward question to the SNH media team this morning and they were unable to answer it. One of them told us that he had been told to tell us to put this question in writing to SNH Chair Mike Cantlay, which we have now done.
We’ll take that response, along with the content of the above statement, to indicate that SNH has NOT suspended the raven cull licence, despite this morning’s (deliberately?) misleading headline suggesting that SNH is having a ‘rethink’.
This is a long way from being over.