Last week it was reported that England’s statutory conservation agency, Natural England, had issued licences to authorise the destruction of buzzard nests and eggs to protect the interests of pheasants. The Scottish Raptor Study Group is wholly opposed to the licenced control of native raptors to protect non-native gamebirds that are bred and released in their millions for shooting. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the theory that raptor predation causes significant damage to game-rearing interests.
There is concern that this precedent set by Natural England will encourage Scotland’s statutory conservation agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, to authorise similar licences.
The Scottish Raptor Study Group has written to the Environment Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, to express this concern.
Thousands of people have also signed a petition urging SNH not to issue licences to cull raptors in Scotland. The petition can be signed here.