Scottish landowners have called for the Government to use existing powers to grant licences for the targeted culling of raptors, in a bid to cut down on incidents of wildlife crime.

Speaking to David Miller, BBC Scotland?s environment correspondent, as part of the documentary Fair Game? Scotland?s Sporting Estates, Doug McAdam, of the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association, described the Government?s reluctance to grant the licences as ?regrettable.?

He said: ?Legal management tools always help and clearly where there are areas of criminality we?ve got to look at the causes of those crimes. Undoubtedly, in some cases there may be frustration. All the game industry is asking for is to be treated on a level playing field.?

But the RSPB?s Duncan Orr-Ewing said he found Mr McAdam?s thoughts ?particularly bizarre?. He said: ?It is holding society to ransom. What people are effectively saying is, ?we will obey the law if you give us the right to kill protected species.??

Simon Lester, head keeper of the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, was also interviewed for the programme. He agreed with Mr McAdam that more needed to be done to allow gamekeepers to deal with predators and look after grouse moors within the law.

The rest of this article appears in 18th May issue of Shooting Times.

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  • Steven McKenzie

    I know that if the goverment gave out licences to control raptors even with a limted cull number there would be less wildlife crime, because even a small cull on raptors on grouse moors would be a dramatic change in the problem but there would still be the iconic birds of scotland, for example buzzards are thriving and there is excessive amounts of them so a few culls in scotland would help the problem