Poisoned sea eagle: strong response from Scottish Greens

In sharp contrast to the pathetically inadequate Scottish Government’s response (see here) to the news that a poisoned sea eagle has been found on a grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park, the Scottish Greens’ response is spot on:


The revelation that a White-Tailed eagle found dead in the Cairngorms is found to have been poisoned shows the Scottish Government must go further to tackle wildlife crime around grouse moors, Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell has said.

Police Scotland have confirmed the satellite tracked bird had been poisoned with pesticide as they investigate the crime.

[A police officer retrieving the poisoned corpse from a grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park. Photo by Police Scotland]

Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell is the species champion for the White-Tailed eagle, also known as the sea eagle, of which there are only around 150 breeding pairs in Scotland.

This is a very serious crime against a species reintroduced into Scotland 40 years ago after it became extinct. Sadly, this is only the latest in a long list of raptors found near Scotland’s grouse moors and I’m afraid recent tweaks to wildlife crime maximum sentences fail to address the central problem around detection and prosecution of these crimes.

There needs to be real action to address this war against wildlife. Land managers need to get a grip of this, but we’ve seen from the reaction to the Scottish Greens win on protection for mountain hares that the driven grouse shooting industry is resistant to even the mildest of reforms.

It’s time for the Scottish Government to ignore vested interests and respond to the Werrity review with a commitment to shut grouse moors down. The stark reality is Scotland is monumentally failing to meet its obligations in the middle of a global nature emergency.


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.

7 thoughts on “Poisoned sea eagle: strong response from Scottish Greens”

  1. An excellent response from the Scottish Greens – not least in their reference to ‘this ‘war against wildlife’. Although they might be a minority party in the SG, it is good to know that the interests of wildlife are being ably served by these MSPs and that they will not tolerate the increasing attrition involving protected species.

  2. Yes, a great response from Mark Ruskell.
    I notice a call for a new body to oversee wildlife crime emerging is being promoted on some websites. This would certainly be a great move IF we were dealing with an unbiased bureaucracy in the absence of the huge influence of hegemonic power. However the combination of a very limited number of landowners and the influence that grants them means that no matter if a new body was created in regards to these crimes it would inevitable face the same issues.
    In the meantime the whole issue involving these continuing crimes would be thrown into the long grass awaiting the long and drawn out process of creating the body, which is exactly what the criminals want as this would reduce the immediate pressure and eliminate the momentum that we currently have.
    What is required are new powers for the SSPCA to investigate these crimes as they have both the integrity and the experience to investigate with a view to prosecution and observing the legal pitfalls in the process. More attention should be paid to the make up of those involved in any enquiry Holyrood commissions SNH to undertake with a view to understanding any patterns which might emerge and the format used.
    To deal with the obvious shortcomings the current process has, a thorough review to pinpoint where they fail and why, with an extensive analysis of what it might reveal so weaknesses might be addressed.
    Keeping these crimes in the public eye, which you do very well, might also be looked at to consider if there are additional initiatives that could be undertaken to broaden the coverage.

  3. Well played the Greens. No bullshit licensing DGS sop here just a plain and simple “shut grouse moors down”. They’ll get my vote.

  4. Well done Scottish Greens. Usual p*ss- poor response from the SNP. I’ve never understood why they’re so reluctant to stand up to the huntin/shootin types as I can’t see your average shooting estate being a hotbed of nationalism- its hardly a vote loser for SNP to actually take the shooty folk on.

    1. Aye John I think some SNP MPS are getting to friendly with the shooting estates. I have voted for SNP since I was 20 I am 71 now. If they dont start doing something for wildlife then I could be voting GREEN.

  5. It appears to me that the Green Party are the only political party in Scotland on our side. In the past I have never voted for them but I will be in the future

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