RSPB wants ‘action & delivery’ from Scottish Government on grouse moor licensing scheme

RSPB Scotland has published a blog today calling for ‘action and delivery’ from the Scottish Government on its promised grouse moor licensing scheme.

The Government announced in November 2020 that grouse shooting businesses in Scotland will need to be licensed to operate, under new proposals to tackle raptor persecution.

It also announced that muirburn will also only be permitted under licence, in order to protect wildlife and habitats, regardless of the time of year it is undertaken and whether or not it is for grouse moor management or improving grazing.

The Government stated there will also be a statutory ban on burning on peatland, except under licence for strictly limited purposes, such as approved habitat restoration projects.

Since that announcement in November 2020, there hasn’t been any further action, but there has been plenty more evidence of illegal raptor persecution, including the poisoning of this golden eagle on a grouse moor at Invercauld Estate in the Cairngorms National Park:

RSPB Scotland writes:

We have been very patient, but nearly 20 months on from this announcement, we want to see some action and delivery on these promises by the Scottish Government. Proposals must be brought forward in the forthcoming Programme for Government in autumn 2022 for the introduction of grouse moor and muirburn licensing legislation in the next Parliamentary year“. 

You can read the full RSPB blog here.

10 thoughts on “RSPB wants ‘action & delivery’ from Scottish Government on grouse moor licensing scheme”

    1. Thanks for this – I frequently suggest people force themselves to look into the execrable Field Sports Channel as a fantastic source of anti shooting ammunition, but I haven’t done so myself for a while. The panel looked as if they were waiting for the results of a biopsy. Their miserable mugs had ‘grouse shooting is dying’ written all over them, and nothing they said contradicted that. In the first part of the podcast the front rows looked remarkably empty, I notice they changed the camera angle to a less revealing one later on. Not impossible (but highly unlikely) there’ll be a turnaround for them, and a slow downward spiral and ultimate demise for DGS still means an awful lot of persecution and ecological damage and delay for restoration. Hopefully therefore everyone redoubles efforts to push this accident of history masquerading as culture, tradition and conservation into its coffin. It can’t come too quickly, it should never have started. Mark Osborne’s call for all gamebird shooting to stand together is, if our campaigning is effective, more likely to drag them all down rather than prop each other up –

      1. A very influential person is Mr Osborne. Very few people even well respected editors, columnists and contributors to the shooting media like to risk upsetting him. The little man roughshooter type can make his own choice anyway – stand together with the intensive & money-making industrial scale game shooting model (that they are not part of!) and risk everything becoming extinct within 10-20yrs, or stand for their own principles & keep well away from it and continue to enjoy some modest, non-environmentally destructive and genuinely sustainable shooting for many generations to come.

  1. There should be NO SHOOTING with this bird flu but that wont happen with all the money involved.

  2. By asking for a driven grouse shooting (DGS) licence the RSP(of some)B is asking for the killing of grouse for fun to continue. They should be campaigning for a DGS BAN as DGS as a country ‘sport’ is obviously as bad as it gets. Oh, but wait a minute I almost forgot that their ‘Royal Charter’ forbids them from campaigning against ‘game’ bird shooting thus: “The Society shall take no part in the question of the killing of game birds and legitimate sport of that character except when such practices have an impact on the Objects.” So they instead campaign to keep DGS by licensing it. Shame on them.

    1. “By asking for a driven grouse shooting (DGS) licence the RSP(of some)B is asking for the killing of grouse for fun to continue” and “They should be campaigning for a DGS BAN” and “So they instead campaign to keep DGS by licensing it. Shame on them.”

      Shame on you for misrepresenting what the RSPB has published: “We support the licensing of driven grouse shooting, however this must also be accompanied by effective monitoring and enforcement, with the ultimate sanction to remove the facility to shoot grouse over an area of land where there is strong evidence of wildlife crimes occurring, and to act as a genuine deterrent” and “We hope that similar licensing arrangements will be introduced in England” and “Failing the introduction of effective licensing of driven grouse shooting in Scotland and England by 2025; as well as other measures to stop other unsustainable management practices (eg vegetation burning on peatland habitats and the use of lead ammunition); and responsible engagement by the grouse moor sector in the licensing process and its implementation; the RSPB will call for a ban on driven grouse shooting.”

      1. “We support the licensing of driven grouse shooting…”

        That clearly means the RSP(of some)B support the killing of grouse under licence. Pretty clear to most folks except for some RSP(of some)B apologists I suppose.

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