Poisoned sea eagle: Scottish Ministers under increasing pressure to act

There has been an unprecedented response from the general public to the news that a young white-tailed eagle has been found illegally poisoned on a grouse moor in the world-famous Cairngorms National Park (see here and here).

The Scottish Government published a pathetically inadequate tweet yesterday (here) designed to fob everyone off but actually generating even more fury at its continued wilful blindness and refusal to tackle this head on.

Public anger is palpable. Social media is still FULL of the death of this eagle, 48hrs after the news first broke, and hundreds of ordinary members of the public have been so incensed they’ve taken to writing emails to the very top of the pile, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Here are some examples of those emails, here are some more, here are some more, here are some more, here are some more, and here and here are some more and another one here.

This one, from Iain Cameron (@theiaincameron) is a masterclass in reasoning:

But so far this one is my favourite (from anon):

Ladies, I know your inboxes are full and getting fuller so I will be brief;

Prompted by the recent poisoning of a white-tailed eagle in the Cairngorms National Park I note;

1) That none of the measures put in place to protect Scotland’s birds of prey seems to have any effect

2) No one has ever been convicted of killing an eagle in Scotland

3) Satellite-tagged eagles can be killed with impunity right up to the Edinburgh bypass

4) The Werritty Review’s outcome of a five year period of self-regulation is infuriating and futile

5) Your party appears not to have the stomach to take on serious, organised crime by landed interests in Scotland

6) Indeed your appointment of Richard Scott’s financial adviser Benny Higgins (a former colleague of mine) as an economic advisor suggests the opposite – that you regard these people as trustworthy or reputable in some way

7) Lots of people (including me) are extremely angry about your hand-wringing and inaction

8) I expect action from you. Driven grouse shooting is a moral disgrace, drives out productive land use, wrecks our uplands and depends on rampant criminality. It needs to be banned right now.

9) The Cairngorms National Park should either become an actual nation park with no sport shooting or it should come to an end. If it has no power to tackle this carnage there’s little point in it existing.

Thanks for reading.


Thank you to all of you who have written to the First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon) and Environment Cabinet Secretary (Roseanna Cunningham) expressing your disgust and urging immediate action. It is clear that their inboxes have been deluged. Good, they need to be.

Here are their email addresses for those who would still like to comment:

To email Nicola Sturgeon, please use this address: firstminister@gov.scot

To email Roseanna Cunningham, please use this address: CabSecECCLR@gov.scot

Thank you.

UPDATE 29th July 2020: Poisoned sea eagle: Chris Packham’s letter to Scottish Ministers (here)

17 thoughts on “Poisoned sea eagle: Scottish Ministers under increasing pressure to act”

  1. Seem to remember Donald Dewar called raptor crime “a national disgrace” c1991. I’m in my 70’s now – will I see serious action in my lifetime? Are the govt afraid of this tiny elite, or do the put their rural vote before the national interest?

  2. Sent mine to both of them. Also suggested they use their devolved powers to make ownership of banned pesticides as much of a crime as using them. No excuses.

  3. E mails sent to both, hope they are getting very annoyed to say the least by an e mail tsunami and BAN this National outrage once and for all. Sod licenses had their chance let’ s hope this is the last ever INGLORIOUS 12th to quote Marks book title.

  4. In their defence they have a lot to deal with right now trying to keep us safe from Covid. otherwise I would be inclined to agree with you.

    We… as individuals… are letting the government know that this shocking slaughter has to be stopped so they are aware and I do believe within the government they condemn the killing of all raptors. I do believe they are working carefully to deal with the situation. As you are aware these land owners and the laws protecting them will take time and legal expertise to deal with as with land reform.

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Alexandra,

      The Scottish Government has been ‘carefully dealing’ with this since Donald Dewar described the killings as “a national disgrace” in 1998.

      They don’t need anymore time. They need to act. Now.

  5. OK fair point Alexandra they are dealing with a lot at the moment. As long as they are taking public opinion on board and don’t just disregard it when things get back to some sort of normality

  6. A small point perhaps but starting that letter with “ladies” rather than their job titles, may not have gone down too well?..that aside, keep at them.

  7. I sent an email to both yesterday explaining that my family and I have chosen to spend money on holidays in Scotland (Mull, Orkney, Inverness and Aviemore) specifically to have the chance to see Eagles. We are planning to visit next summer specifically to see and photograph birds of prey. I expressed my sadness at reading that yet another Eagle has been poisoned and that now the list of those confirmed dead or missing in suspicious circumstances in Scotland is longer than the list of birds I have personally seen in 20 years of visiting the country.
    I am so glad so many are emailing in and hope they might at last realise the weight of public opinion on the need for this to be dealt with properly.

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