Last week we blogged about the Scottish Gamekeepers Association’s (SGA) feeble attempt to undermine and discredit the findings of the damning Golden Eagle Satellite Tag Review by commissioning an opinion from a lawyer who, as far as we can tell, has no scientific expertise or qualifications (see here).
This is the Golden Eagle Satellite Tag Review that demonstrated, with “exemplary and thorough” scientific rigour according to actual scientists, that almost one third of satellite-tagged golden eagles had ‘disappeared’ (almost certainly illegally killed) on a number of Scottish grouse moors over a number of years, in the same areas that had contemporaneous records of illegal raptor persecution (i.e. known wildlife crime hotspots).
[Satellite-tagged golden eagle ‘Alma’ who was found poisoned on a grouse moor in the Angus Glens. Photo by Scottish Raptor Study Group]
In response to the SGA’s attempt to erode confidence in the Sat Tag Review, Mark Ruskell MSP (Scottish Green Party) lodged the following parliamentary question:
S5W-19641 (date lodged 26/10/18)
To ask the Scottish Government what its response [is] to the legal opinion that has been published by the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association, which disputes some of the conclusions of the Scottish Natural Heritage-commissioned report, Analyses of the Fates of Satellite Tracked Golden Eagles in Scotland, and, in light of this, whether it plans to review the report’s conclusion that the disappearances of some satellite-tracked golden eagles and other birds of prey were “suspicious”.
This question was answered by Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham on 7/11/18 as follows:
The Scottish Government is satisfied that the Scottish Natural Heritage report, “Analyses of the fates of satellite tracked golden eagles in Scotland”, was produced and peer-reviewed in line with accepted scientific standards. The Scottish Government has no plans to review any aspects of the report.
That’s a parliamentary equivalent of sticking up two metaphorical fingers.
Nice try, SGA, but no cigar.
Well done and thanks, Mark Ruskell MSP.
“They can hide the tags. They can hide the bodies. But they can’t hide the pattern“ (Dr Hugh Webster).