Bits, bobs and bills - your Christmas wrapped

Rural issues are top of the Government’s agenda- and will be until the next Scottish Election in two and a half years’ time.


The SGA is working hard to shape the future, with Bills coming thick and fast.


Here’s a quick update before the festive season.

In the last 6 weeks, the SGA met with Environment Minister Gillian Martin in Edinburgh to make the case for a new offence for trap wrecking and interference.


Our efforts were recognised with the Minister announcing she intends to bring forward such an offence at Stage 2 of the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill.


The SGA now turns its attention to other priority amendments, ensuring members rights are not infringed, that the Bill doesn’t range further beyond its scope and that human life and property are not placed at greater wildfire risk by ill-judged muirburn provisions.


Stage 2 amendments are to be tabled in January. The SGA is busy, attending meetings in Parliament and refining our case.


The Cairngorms National Park will launch a wildfire mitigation consultation early next year.


The SGA wrote to officials, asking them to recognise the knowledge and experience of skilled gamekeepers when it comes to assessing when it is, and when it is not, safe to carry out muirburn in the Park. We will be making that case again when the consultation is published.


Our member magazine, Scottish Gamekeeper, is complete and the Winter edition is currently with printers. Members will receive copies early in the New Year. 


Plans are well advanced for the AGM in Perth on Friday March 1st 2024 and we hope to be able to announce a new youth initiative on the day, at McDiarmid Park. Book your AGM seat through the office now.

The SGA Fishing Group met in Perth in late November, discussing the 2023 salmon season and our campaigns for 2024 and beyond. SGA Training Centre chief Alan Tweedie presented to Scottish Government, NatureScot and rural sector representatives on the training challenges and opportunities in deer management, in the next 5 to 10 years. Over 600 new deer managers have now been trained through the SGA Centre.


The consultation deadline for the next stage of the HSE consultation on lead ammunition (socio economic impacts of transitioning from lead) passed, with the SGA arguing for costs to be applied to lowered welfare and compromised safety. 


The Biodiversity Strategy consultation deadline also passed, with the SGA illustrating the key role members already play in delivering Biodiversity in Scotland and how, with Government support, even more can be done. The SGA also argued that protecting more land through designations and creating more national parks would not necessarily bring benefits to Biodiversity. It is good management that makes the biggest change.

In addition to this, the SGA met with new NatureScot Chairman, Professor Colin Galbraith, in November and hosted a meeting in Perth of the Common Ground Forum, which SGA is a part. See their work, here:


The SGA responded to the Tay Forest Park consultation and played a supporting and evidential role as the first licence for a professional fox control foot pack was granted from NatureScot since the passing of the Hunting With Dogs Bill. This landmark application was pleasing, given the SGA’s tireless work on the Bill itself and the licensing process. We continue out work in this regard.


Just as 2023 started, with the SGA helping save the red deer of South Uist from eradication, the organisation aims to do all it can to help members in 2024. 


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our members, supporters and all parts of the SGA family, wherever you are in the world.





Stoney Creek
Stoney Creek
For Farmers the total feed business

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