The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) opposed grouse moor licensing.
We will now be working to ensure any measures introduced are proportionate and do not discriminate against Scotland’s professional gamekeepers, which the SGA is proud to represent.
The SGA strongly urges ALL members, supporters, shooters and businesses that depend on grouse season trade to respond to this consultation by the closing date of 14th December.
You can do so online, here: https://consult.gov.scot/environment-forestry/wildlife-management-in-scotland/
The consultation covers topics such as muirburn, as well as further regulation of the legal predator control tools deployed by grouse moor managers to protect ground nesting species.
Well managed Muirburn (see above) creates a food source for moorland wildlife, can improve biodiversity and carbon sequestration and is a globally recognised tool deployed by fire experts for wildlife prevention (prescribed burning).
Predator control, undertaken by skilled gamekeepers, has proven benefits for a range of moorland species and the SGA will be working to ensure that, for the sake of jobs, people and red-listed wildlife that measures introduced at the Scottish Parliament do not compromise the quest to protect rare species from further declines which are unsustainable.
The SGA will also be working, on behalf of its members, to ensure any proposed licensing scheme protects the rights of gamekeepers to carry out important and beneficial work in the Scottish countryside, free from vexatious claims and allegations by those who might seek to use the introduction of licensing as an opportunity to cause unwarranted damage to the grouse sector or to gamekeepers themselves.
We will provide advice on filling in the consultation, in due course, but encourage people to respond, using their own experience and knowledge which is an asset to the cause of land management in Scotland.