Environment Minister acknowledges potential economic impact of wildlife crime linked to grouse shooting

It’s been another year of shocking wildlife crimes being uncovered on grouse moors in the UK, including the illegal poisoning of this iconic white-tailed eagle, found dead on a grouse moor inside the Cairngorms National Park in the spring (see here).

[The poisoned white-tailed eagle, photo by Police Scotland]

Last week, Scottish Greens MSP Alison Johnstone lodged a Parliamentary question asking what assessment the Scottish Government has made of the impact on the rural economy of wildlife crime linked to grouse moor management (see here).

Her question, and a supplementary one, were ‘answered’ by Environment Minister Mairi Gougeon during Portfolio Question Time yesterday in the Scottish Parliament.

When I say ‘answered’, I use the term loosely. A more fitting word might be ‘sidestepped’.

Here’s how it went:

It’s good that Mairi Gougeon acknowledges the potential economic damage of wildlife crime linked to grouse moor management – it’d be insane to claim that the photograph of that poisoned eagle, laying dead on a grouse moor inside the Cairngorms National Park of all bloody places, would not have an economic impact and, as the Minister pointed out, on Scotland’s international reputation.

But the question Alison asked was ‘What assessment of that economic damage has the Scottish Government undertaken?’

None, it seems.

Still, as the Government’s response to the Werritty Review is imminent, we can all look forward to “decisive action” on wildlife crime linked to grouse moor management, as Environment Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham assured us all in August after a huge outpouring of public anger about this poisoned sea eagle (see here).

7 thoughts on “Environment Minister acknowledges potential economic impact of wildlife crime linked to grouse shooting”

  1. ‘Godet . . . Godot . . . Godin . . . anyhow you see who I mean, who has your future in his hands . . . (pause) . . . at least your immediate future? ‘

    ‘It’s Godot! At last! Gogo! It’s Godot! We’re saved! Let’s go and meet him! ‘

    ‘We are no longer alone, waiting for the night, waiting for Godot, waiting for . . . waiting. All evening we have struggled, unassisted. Now it’s over. It’s already tomorrow. ‘

    ‘What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come—’

  2. Yes, we all wait with baited breath. It is like the party game (pass the parcel) no one is actually prepared to come out and tell us what is so obviously asked for. Sadly par for course of the SNP government

  3. Yes,yes, heard it all before! Acknowledge this and that, totally unacceptable, blah blah. Been going on far too long for it to mean anything at all other than platitudes displaying lack of conviction and real interest!

    1. When the SG exhaust all the possibilities for fiddling and fudging, shuffling and sidestepping, weaseling and worming I wonder what they will try next. Curbing freedom of expression perhaps.

  4. My hunch is that the Werrity report response has been delayed to ensure “research” by the grouse lobby and their sychophants can be included to justify a wishy washy response to what I see as wishy washy recommendations by Prof. Werrty himself. The “hidden hand” busy at work.

  5. http//www.scotland.police.uk/what-s-happening/news/2020/november/wildlife-crime-report-double/

    Reports of wildlife crime almost double
    Wildlife crime reports have nearly doubled, according to the latest figures from Police Scotland.

    Between April and September 2020, Police Scotland recorded 203 wildlife crime offences compared to 111 in the same period in 2019/20, an increase of 82.9%.

    Detection rates also increased, rising to 55.2% in 2020 compared to 34.2% in the same six month period in 2019.

    The latest figures were released in Police Scotland’s Quarterly Performance Report covering April to September 2020/21.

    Detective Chief Superintendent Gary Cunningham, Police Scotland’s lead for Wildlife Crime, said: “Scotland’s diverse wildlife is one of its greatest assets, yet there are those who seek to destroy it. Wildlife crime has an enormous impact not only on our natural heritage but also on those communities that rely on the employment and tourism it brings.

    “Investigating wildlife crime can be demanding and complex, it requires specialist skills. Earlier this year we introduced a new training course to build our capability and to enhance the skills and knowledge of our officers.

    “We will continue to invest in tackling wildlife crime and ensuring our

    officers are trained to the highest level. But we are also asking the public to be aware and if they see anything suspicious to report it to us.”

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