Heartfelt evidence as Predator Petition continued

Last week, SGA Chairman Alex Hogg’s petition to have control of generalist predators officially recognised by Scottish Government as a conservation act, was heard at Holyrood

Scotland's Gamekeeper Chairman gave a passionate speech on his love of Curlew 

On hearing the submission and Questions, the Petitions Committee decided to continue the Petition, which was signed by 2427 of you.


Here’s the original petition text: 



Further evidence will now be taken at a future date, and we will keep you updated.


WATCH: You can watch our highlights VIDEO from the session by clicking on the PLAY button below (remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel)


READ: Here’s the spoken submission Alex gave to the Committee ( in full), to begin the evidence session.


“Thank you for inviting me here today.


In my lifetime I’ve watched favourite species decline.


Today, there are far more predators, far less wildlife managers and far less ground-nesting birds. 


Unless the remaining wildlife managers feel more supported, we will lose more of them - and birds - in the remainder of my lifetime.


Given the Government’s written response to this petition, I feel a Ministerial statement confirming support would be appropriate. This would send a signal to wildlife managers that 


  • their work in conservation is valued 


  • that wildlife managers are recognised as contributing to the nature recovery aim


  • and to make it clear that Scottish Government does believe, through both actions and words, that predator control can be fundamental to species conservation.


This message, I feel, has been lost.


Scottish Government recently removed 2 key tools; snares and trained dogs. 


Foxes are proven to predate ground-nesting birds. The banning of fox snares will hasten the Curlew’s demise. 


Using foot packs of trained dogs to control foxes has been strictly licensed. No licences have been granted for conservation.


Parliament researchers should cost out the public money spent on habitat for ground-nesting birds compared to sums spent on predator control. They should also assess the outcomes for species.


This would enlighten us on 

1/ where the Government’s priorities are and

2/ whether those priorities have achieved the right results. 


I don’t believe they have. 


I think we can do both habitat AND predator control in conservation- and do better. Thank you.”


Alex and the SGA wants to have the skilled work of SGA members recognised, so that they can be encouraged to continue to carry out the conservation work which will be key to tackling the Nature and Biodiversity crises in Scotland (see infograph, below)

Infograph showing the benefits of legal predator control

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