Thanks to everyone who emailed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following the recent raptor persecution atrocities that have been reported from a number of Scottish grouse moors ( a dead spring-trapped hen harrier found on a grouse moor in Perthshire (here), the suspicious disappearance, within a few hours of each other, of two satellite tagged golden eagles on another grouse moor in Perthshire (here), and another spring-trapped hen harrier found critically injured and distressed on a grouse moor in South Lanarkshire (here)).
After weeks of complete silence from Scottish Ministers (here, here, here), which, to be frank, has been utterly staggering and certainly not indicative of a Government ready to act, an impersonal, automated response letter is now being sent out to those who appealed for the Government to finally do something meaningful.
Here it is:
It’s a pathetically tragic response. There’s nothing in here we haven’t heard before, and even though the letter emphasises the previous steps taken in tackling these crimes, presumably to demonstrate the Government’s ‘determination’ to act, what it actually does is just highlight the length of time the Government has been tip-toeing around (since 2007) without producing any significant results at all.
The letter also includes the tired old line that we have to wait for the Werritty Review. We’ve been waiting for over two years and for all that time the Government has used it as an excuse to do absolutely nothing in the face of ongoing criminal activity. The excuse is tired, we’re tired of hearing it, and we’re tired of the criminals being allowed to run amok and suffer zero consequences.
Interestingly, this most recent letter is very similar to another letter that was sent to one of our blog readers in early July in response to the news in May that satellite-tagged hen harrier Marci had ‘disappeared’ in suspicious circumstances on a grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park (here) and that four geese had been found poisoned on another grouse-shooting estate in the Cairngorms National Park after someone had used the banned pesticide Carbofuan (here).
But there’s a significant difference between the two letters:
“The evidence continues to point to the likelihood that these people are connected with grouse moor management“.
Gosh, who knew?
Both letters indicate that the Werritty Review is ‘due to report in the next few weeks’, even though both letters were written weeks apart.
According to Professor Werritty himself, the report will be submitted “during the summer“, which of course could mean anytime between now and when the clocks go back at the end of October.
How many more raptors do you think will have been illegally killed by the time the report is submitted? And how many more illegally killed even after the report has been submitted and the Government is ‘considering it carefully’?
Sorry if this blog sounds impatient. Actually, we’re not sorry at all. Our patience has been stretched to its limit and has now expired.
Why’s it so difficult to get the Government to act?