Scotland?s estate owners will be made criminally responsible for birds of prey illegally killed on their land under plans being ?actively considered? by Roseanna Cunningham, the SNP environment minister. Roseanna Cunningham confirmed she is looking at making estate owners throughout Scotland liable for the actions of their employees, including gamekeepers who are found to have illegally disposed of raptors.

The minister is also examining whether to lower the standard of proof so that it is not necessary to show that land managers meant to kill the bird. The presence of a carcase and the relevant poison on the estate may be enough for a conviction.

Miss Cunningham said it is ?very likely? she will introduce one or more of the proposals by tabling amendments to the Wildlife Bill, currently going through the Scottish Parliament.

The rest of this article appears in 6th October issue of Shooting Times.

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