Former Crofting Commissioner calls for ‘complete eradication’ of white-tailed eagles

11 February 2014

A letter published by the Scottish Farmer this week is a good example of the Victorian attitude toward raptors that still persists in some areas of Scotland. The letter was written by a former Crofting Commissioner and betrays an astonishing level of ignorance and prejudice. Members of the Scottish Raptor Study Group work closely with many enlightened crofters and hill farmers and thankfully, this particular crofter’s view is not shared by the majority but it’s still an indicator of how much work there is to do. 

SIR, – Listening to and reading about the Winter Watch tv programme regarding sea eagles, I found most of it incredible and so ‘too bad’ as far as the loss of lambs was concerned – they didn’t even mention hoggs or ewes.
Then, for Mr Warnock of NFUS to say: “Sea eagles are here to stay”. Surely it’s time for him to vacate his perch – and if that is the view of the NFUS, what a precarious position hill sheep farmers and crofters are in.
Nothing short of complete eradication will do, and it is the same for the pine martin – both should be absolutely destroyed. The National Sheep Association, the Crofting Commission and Crofting Federation should be backing this to the hilt.
Will Mr Lochhead or Mr Wheelhouse do anything about the sea eagle? No, they didn’t even prick their ears until a danger to our native eagle was mentioned and, for Mr Lochhead to say they are a tremendous tourist attraction is rubbish. If, like me, he had spoken to tourists from all over the world over the last 20 years at ‘Working Sheepdogs’ here, he would know they don’t come for one attraction but to see as much as they possibly can. The oblivion of the sea eagle wouldn’t matter and, indeed, would be an absolute blessing for the countryside and its animals.

DW Ross,