The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA)has issued a strongly-worded statement condemning extremist elements of the raptor lobby who criticise the country?s rural organisations and their figureheads.

Bert Burnett, a member of the SGA?s National Committee, said that such fanaticism had no place in the important debate on land management, and that raptor groups would achieve more by taking part in reasoned discussion rather than by firing abuse at the leaders of legitimate organisations.

He said: ?All bodies, even the police and medical professions, have had rotten eggs lurking in their midst in the past. Do you think other members of those professions knew about these rogues? Clearly not, because these professions and their leaders aren?t condemned and lambasted out of hand for the actions of a few.

?Contrast that with the unwarranted vitriolic criticism of our organisations and leaders by sections of the raptor lobby. It?s totally illogical and unproductive.?

Despite cases such as that of James Rolfe, a gamekeeper on the Moy Estate near Tomatin, who was fined £1,500 in May for possessing a dead red kite, the SGA says that all of Scotland?s professional land and countryside bodies are continuing to ?try their damnedest? to eradicate unacceptable practices.

The rest of this article appears in 29th June issue of Shooting Times.

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