There’s been a fair bit in the press in recent days on the alleged positive impact of grouse moor management on the Scottish rural economy, following the publication of a series of new reports.
Representatives and supporters of the grouse shooting industry will, of course, tend to focus on the assumed economic benefits and rarely, if ever, will they mention the economic costs of this damaging industry.
So this is a really important parliamentary question that’s been lodged by Scottish Green’s MSP Alison Johnson:
Question S50-04745. Alison Johnstone, Lothian, Scottish Green Party. Lodged 4/11/2020.
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact on the rural economy of wildlife crime linked to grouse moor management.
Current status: Due in Chamber on 12/11/2020.
I’m not sure which Minister will be answering this question next Thursday but I look forward to the response.
Here’s a photo of a police officer examining the corpse of a white-tailed eagle, found illegally poisoned with a banned pesticide on a grouse moor inside the Cairngorms National Park earlier this year (see here). [Photo by Police Scotland]
He wasn’t the first victim and he certainly won’t be the last. Raptor persecution, whether that be poisoning, shooting or trapping, is still rampant on many Scottish (and English) grouse moors, despite it having been illegal since 1954.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Scottish Government intends to assess the economic cost of this ongoing criminality.
UPDATE 13 November 2020: Environment Minister acknowledges potential economic impact of wildlife crime linked to grouse shooting (here)