Last week I wrote about the Scottish Parliament’s forthcoming Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee meeting on Tuesday 23rd, when a selection of petitions will be considered including several of significant interest to this blog (see here), including gamebird licencing, mountain hares, wildlife crime penalties, raptor satellite tagging, and wildlife killing on grouse moors.
The official meeting papers have now been published on the ECCLR website and within those papers are recommendations for the Committee to consider for each of the petitions under consideration.
I’ll be discussing the petition from the Scottish Gamekeepers Association calling for ‘Independent monitoring of satellite tags fitted to raptors’ on this blog tomorrow and of course will be reporting on the ECCLR Committee’s decisions on the other relevant petitions after the meeting on Tuesday.
For now, here are the recommendations:
UPDATE 22nd February 2021: Scottish gamekeepers’ petition calling for independent monitoring of raptor satellite tags is ‘fact-free nonsense’ (here)
6 thoughts on “Summary of petitions under consideration by Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee on Tuesday”
I had a wee smile to myself at the first petition ,to control wild goose numbers. We have “problems “on the croftland with increasing numbers of mainly feral, non migratory Greylag geese eating loads of grass.
Everyone moans about them but the only predator they have in this part of the world are the resident and wandering Sea Eagles (and to a lesser extent the Goldies.) When the geese go up everyone scans the skies and sure enough there they are.
Lots of geese means plenty eagle food and I never hear any complaints about lamb losses from eagles.
I give here for consideration a very small part of my petition PE1705: Wildlife crime – penalties and investigation, “Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review legislation relating to the investigation of and penalties applicable to wildlife crime in Scotland.”
I first submitted the wording of the petition more than 35 months ago. In that time, the legislation has changed, but I have had little feedback or knowledge of what, if anything, has been going on. I felt that I had to change the body of my original submission several times, and made additions to the petition and environment committees to improve and update my original submission. My last submission was made in September 2019, but was not added to the paperwork which can be found here http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01705
I decided today to send this last addition to the committee members directly, and did so today, but it is likely to have no effect on the recommended action “The Committee may wish to consider closing this petition….” I spent considerable time formulating the following minor section in order to increase the likelihood of video evidence by a member of the public being allowed in court.
“2. Members of public acting in an immediate response to an unlawful act
I recommend that Section 3.30 of the Covert Surveillance Property Interference: Code of Practice (2017) is amended to add the following text at the end of the second sentence:
“, nor does it prohibit members of the public from taking similar action as an immediate response to events if they advise the appropriate public authority without delay, who may take action as if they had made the response.” This recommendation is made: (a) to determine the extent to which authorisation is required to record a crime taking place as an immediate response; and (b) to clarify policy on the use of footage taken or recorded by a member of the public in connection with criminal activity.”
I give this as an example only of evidence which I believe should have been seen by the committee, does not appear to have even been laid before them.
Notwithstanding that the government has had a lot to consider in the meantime, I do feel somewhat aggrieved that the time and effort that I have expended has not been worthwhile. I could stand my petition being rejected, but the 4 latest changes I suggested should form part of the petition in the light of changing legislation seem to have just been discarded.
Sorry you’re so fed up Alex, which I quite understand, there may have been other petitions which were as professionally set out as yours, but I doubt any have been better. You deserve to have got a lot more out of this than you have. Please don’t give up.
Thanks Les, we shall see how it goes tomorrow for all these petitions. It is due, and only due, to the committee which wrote to the Procurator Fiscal Service in May 2017 thus exposing what I believe to be the bias of Crown Counsel in favour of landowners and the establishment in several prosecutions. Of course this has existed for centuries, but is surprising in the 21st Century.
It is a shame that the Inspectorate for Prosecution in Scotland is by law under the control of the Lord Advocate that perhaps this bias ond other more recent cases are unlikely to be examined.
I look forward to reading your recommendations on how you think we, wildlife-supporting members of the public should best act after these Committee meetings. I feel it will be good time for some democracy in action through the mails.