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Gas gun in use on grouse moor in Peak District National Park

As regular blog readers will know, we have an interest in the use of propane gas guns on grouse moors in the English and Scottish uplands. For those who don’t know, propane gas guns are routinely used for scaring birds (e.g. pigeons, geese) from agricultural crops – they are set up to deliver an intermittent […]
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Police Scotland investigate suspicious disappearance of two breeding peregrines

Police Scotland is investigating the suspicious disappearance of two female peregrines from active nests in Dumfries & Galloway. Both nest sites, at Dalveen on the Queensberry Estate (part of the Buccleuch Estates), were being monitored by experts from the Dumfries & Galloway Raptor Study Group. Eggs had been laid at both sites and the breeding females […]
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National Trust: bold or bottling it?

It’s been over a month since the National Trust said they were launching an investigation in to what they described as a “suspicious incident” where an armed man was filmed sitting next to a decoy hen harrier on a National Trust-owned grouse moor in the Peak District National Park. How’s that investigation going? Given that […]
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Mountain hare slaughter set to continue in breach of EU regulations

A couple of weeks ago, Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell lodged the following parliamentary question: Question S5W-00044, Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party); Lodged: 09/05/2016: To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the culling of mountain hares on estates practising driven grouse shooting. Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Roseanna […]
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Scottish gamekeeper fined for leaving loaded gun ‘on hillside’

A Scottish gamekeeper has been fined for abandoning a loaded weapon that was found by two hill walkers. Shaun Wilson, 29, had left his weapon ‘on the hillside above the village of Kippen’ , Stirlingshire, on 6 August 2016. He was fined £675 under the Firearms Act (see BBC news article here). That description, ‘on […]
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More procrastination on extending SSPCA powers

Last month we blogged about a series of Parliamentary questions relating to wildlife crime that had been lodged by recently elected Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell (see here). One of those questions was about giving extended powers to the SSPCA: Question S5W-00030 (Lodged 12/5/2016) To ask the Scottish Government when it will announce its decision regarding […]
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Judicial review underway re: general licence restriction on Raeshaw Estate

Last month we blogged about a pending judicial review of SNH’s decision to apply a three-year General Licence restriction order on Raeshaw Estate in the Scottish Borders for alleged raptor persecution crimes (see here). We noted that SNH had temporarily suspended the GL restriction order until the judicial review hearing on 20th May. Last week, […]
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Scottish landowners still in denial about raptor persecution

Today, new Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform & the Environment, Roseanna Cunningham, will deliver a keynote address at the spring conference of Scottish land owners’ lobby group Scottish Land & Estates (SLE). According to an amusing article in this morning’s Telegraph, clearly orchestrated by SLE to coincide with this conference, ‘Ministers have been warned they […]
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A bit of light relief

Thanks to the blog reader who sent this: http://ift.tt/1s7wavQ  
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Red kite shot & critically injured next to grouse moor in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information after the discovery of yet another illegally shot red kite that was found at the weekend. Press release as follows: Police are urging members of the public to support them in the fight against red kite persecution, after another bird was found shot last weekend. On the morning […]
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Decision pending in Scottish gamekeeper’s conviction appeal

Last month we blogged about how a Scottish gamekeeper, William (Billy) Dick, was appealing against his conviction for killing a buzzard (see here). A quick recap: In August 2015, gamekeeper William (Billy) Dick, now 26, was found guilty of killing a buzzard on the Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire, in April 2014. Two witnesses had observed him […]
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Scottish gamekeeper charged in connection with shooting of hen harrier

Court proceedings began at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday against gamekeeper Stanley Gordon who has been charged in connection with the shooting of a hen harrier in June 2013. Stanley Gordon, 59, of Cabrach, Moray, did not enter a plea and the case was continued until 16th June 2016.
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Local council gives increased powers to SSPCA – now what about the Scottish Government?

A few days ago a Panorama programme was aired on BBC Scotland about the illegal puppy trade (see here). It showed some pretty horrendous footage that had been secretly filmed at a puppy farm in Northern Ireland and one in the Irish Republic, as well as some undercover surveillance of puppies being brought over on […]
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No junior ministerial role for Environment

Following today’s earlier post about Roseanna Cunningham MSP being appointed the new Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (here), it appears that the former junior position of Minister for Environment has either been chucked, or has been merged with Roseanna’s new role. Nicola Sturgeon has announced the appointment of other junior Ministers […]
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Roseanna Cunningham MSP is new Cabinet Secretary for Environment

Well this is good news! In today’s Cabinet reshuffle, Roseanna Cunningham MSP has just been appointed the new Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, following the departure of Richard Lochhead. Interestingly, the title of this position, and the portfolio remit, has been changed. Roseanna’s responsibilities will be for climate change, flood prevention, […]
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Mark Ruskell MSP asks parliamentary questions about wildlife & wildlife crime

Newly-elected Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell has hit the ground running by lodging a series of parliamentary questions relating to wildlife and wildlife crime: Question S5W-00044, Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party); Lodged: 09/05/2016: To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the culling of mountain hares on estates practising […]
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All change for environment portfolio at Holyrood as Lochhead stands down

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food & Environment in Scotland, Richard Lochhead, has announced his resignation in advance of Nicola Sturgeon’s impending cabinet re-shuffle (see here). This means there will be a clean sweep across the board for the Holyrood environment portfolio, following former Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod’s recent failure to secure re-election […]
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SNH responds to query re: use of gas guns on grouse moors

Last week we blogged about the deployment of gas guns on grouse moors and how we were still waiting for guidance on their use from SNH and Natural England; guidance that had been promised before the start of the 2016 breeding season (see here). We were/are concerned that these devices were/are being used to deter […]
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Update on pesticide leg bands being attached to red grouse

Following yesterday’s blog about pesticide legs bands being attached to female red grouse to deter ticks (see here), Countryman’s Weekly has been in touch: “We’d like to point out that we printed a correction to the article above in our edition of April 20 (we are a weekly title), which stated that the shoot “does […]
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Trial date set for Angus Glens gamekeeper for alleged pole-trapping offences

Last month we blogged about court proceedings in the case of an Angus Glens gamekeeper, Craig Graham, who is facing accusations of alleged pole-trapping offences on the Brewlands Estate (see here). Graham, 51, is accused of setting and re-setting a pole trap, baited with a pheasant carcass, between 9-17th July 2015. At a third hearing […]
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The red grouse and pesticide scandal: it’s hard to swallow

Last year we wrote a blog called The red grouse and medicated grit scandal: it’s hard to swallow (here). The opening paragraph of that blog went like this: ‘Just when you thought that all the detrimental environmental and health hazards associated with driven grouse moor management had been exposed, and just when you thought you […]
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Raven hysteria grows, aided by BBC

Last month we blogged about calls to add Ravens to the Scottish General Licence, which would allow the indiscriminate killing of this species (see here). Our blog was tongue-in-cheek, illustrated by a picture of a raven carrying off a polar bear cub, to highlight the ridiculousness of the hysteria. (Illustration by Jackie Morris, from The […]
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Statement from Cairngorms National Park Authority re: shot goshawk

Grant Moir, Chief Executive of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, has today issued a statement about the recent shooting of a goshawk (here) on land within the National Park: “We are incredibly frustrated to again be putting out a statement condemning the shooting of a raptor in the National Park. We must ensure such crimes […]
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Goshawk shot on sporting estate in Cairngorms National Park

A goshawk has been shot on an Aberdeenshire sporting estate inside the Cairngorms National Park. The shooting was witnessed by a man walking his dogs in the Strathdon area in April. The bird was shot approx 30 yards away by an unseen gunman. The witness took the bird to the New Arc wildlife sanctuary where […]
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Guidance for deployment of gas guns on grouse moors – still waiting

A year ago in May 2015, someone sent us some photographs of three propane gas gun bird scarers that had been deployed on the grouse moor at Leadhills Estate, South Lanarkshire (see here). These gas guns are routinely used for bird scaring on agricultural fields – they are set up to produce a periodic booming […]
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Shot buzzard successfully rehabilitated and released

Last month we blogged about a buzzard that had been found with shotgun injuries in North Frodingham, East Yorkshire (see here). Vet Mark Naguib pinned the buzzard’s wing and the bird spent four weeks in the expert care of wildlife rehabilitation specialist Jean Thorpe. Two days ago, Jean was able to release the buzzard back […]
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More raptor poisonings in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

Last month we blogged about a dead peregrine that had been found at a well known persecution hotspot on 11th April 2016 (see here). Laboratory tests have now confirmed this peregrine was poisoned with the banned pesticide Carbofuran. A further two poisoned raptors have now been reported in Co Antrim: a buzzard found in woodland […]
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Aileen McLeod out – Andy Wightman MSP in!

Scotland will be getting a new Environment Minister as former MSP Dr Aileen McLeod has lost her seat. While it’s sad when someone loses their job, we’re not sorry to see Dr McLeod go. Her record as Environment Minister was wholly unimpressive, at least on the ‘wildlife’ aspect of her portfolio. Her inaction since she […]
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Red kite shot & killed on nest in West Yorkshire

On 21st April 2016, a new red kite nest was discovered in woodland near Alwoodley Lane in the Eccup area of Leeds, West Yorkshire. Hanging in a tree next to the nest was the corpse of a dead kite. A veterinary examination revealed the bird had suffered shot gun injuries and was most likely killed […]
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Pigeon racing man fined for storing banned poison Carbofuran

A Cumbrian man from the world of pigeon racing has been convicted for the illegal storage of the banned poison Carbofuran. Keith Mingins, 58, of Main Street, Frizington, Cumbria, pled guilty at Workington Magistrates Court on 29th April 2016, following the discovery of Carbofuran at his pigeon lofts during a police raid in April 2015. […]
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