Autumn is here; Werritty’s report is not.
For new readers, the long anticipated and long overdue Werritty Review is a Government-commissioned report on grouse moor management in Scotland. Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham commissioned it following the publication of the authoritative, ‘exemplary and thorough‘ Golden Eagle Satellite Tag Review in May 2017, which revealed the magnitude of ongoing raptor persecution on some Scottish grouse moors (read that report here).
The Werritty Review Group was announced in November 2017 and we were told to expect the report by spring 2019.
Spring 2019 came and went, the report didn’t appear, but we were told that Professor Werritty was ill and the report would be delayed by two months (new expected date: June 2019). Fair enough.
June 2019 came and went, the report didn’t appear.
Then we heard it would arrive in July 2019.
July 2019 came and went, the report didn’t appear then we heard from Professor Werritty himself that it’d be submitted ‘during the summer‘.
At the end of July, in response to public fury about on-going illegal raptor persecution on Scottish grouse moors, a Government spokesperson told us the report ‘was due in the next few weeks’ (see here).
It’s now mid-October and the report still hasn’t appeared. According to Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, writing to an MSP in response to a query about the publication date by a constituent (and blog reader!), the report is “expected within the next couple of weeks“!!
To be perfectly frank, events this year have overtaken whatever recommendations Professor Werritty might suggest – the discovery of this spring-trapped hen harrier on a grouse moor in Perthshire, this spring-trapped hen harrier caught next to his nest on a grouse moor in South Lanarkshire, this spring-trapped golden eagle photographed flying above a grouse moor in Royal Deeside, and the suspicious disappearance of two more satellite-tagged golden eagles from a grouse moor in Perthshire have demonstrated that we now need a radical approach to bring this to an end.
Nevertheless, we’re still keen to see the Werritty report appear because until it does, the Scottish Government has the perfect excuse, that it has used repeatedly since May 2017 when the review was first commissioned, to do absolutely naff all to tackle these ongoing serious organised crimes.
“It is right and sensible that Scottish Government should wait for that report“, says Roseanna Cunningham. How can it possibly be “right” or “sensible” that the Government should continue to sit on its hands and watch these atrocities taking place, suggesting it’s powerless to act?