Further to the news that grouse moor burning has continued across Scotland (see here and here) despite calls for restraint and in total defiance of the current public health crisis, Scottish Green’s MSP Andy Wightman is seeking a legislative ban on all muirburn as part of the emergency laws going through the Scottish Parliament today.
[Muirburn, photograph by Ruth Tingay]
The Scottish Greens have published the following press release this afternoon:
WIGHTMAN PROPOSES MOOR BURNING BAN DURING LOCKDOWN
The practice of burning moorland to prepare for recreational grouse shooting is continuing in Scotland, despite the coronavirus lockdown.
Witnesses have tweeted pictures of the practice continuing throughout Scotland, even after landowners were told to stop by Scottish Land and Estates on March 25.
In England, one fire got out of control and spread into a one-mile long fire-front, leading to concerns over the pressure this practice can place on the emergency services.
Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman today sought to include a legislative ban in emergency laws going through the Scottish Parliament.
Commenting, Andy Wightman said: “It is absurd that while the country is told to stay at home, with sporting and cultural events cancelled and businesses compelled to close, some landowners have proceeded to inflict environmental damage on their land in the expectation that a privileged few will still be able to go and shoot birds for a hobby.
“There cannot be business as usual for the lairds and lockdown for the rest of us. There is too little scrutiny of grouse moors at the best of times, but damaging the hills during a lockdown and risking putting further pressure on our emergency services is reckless. The practice should end with immediate effect.”
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill (Emergency Bill) is being debated in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon and is expected to be passed later this evening.
Here is Andy’s proposed amendment, which if passed would result in a ban on all hill fires, including setting the grouse moors alight, with immediate effect: