Scotland’s environment minister says he will consider a further tightening of the laws surrounding raptor persecution following the discovery of a dead hen harrier on an Aberdeenshire estate. Investigations have established that the bird, which was found in October by a keeper on the Fettercairn estate, had been shot. An appeal has now gone out to members of the public who may have seen something suspicious.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s environment minister, said: “This is another absolutely deplorable crime involving the shooting of one of our rarest species of raptor and I thank the estate and keeper involved for bringing this matter to the attention of the authorities which is in keeping with their positive engagement on wildlife crime issues.

“We will not tolerate the illegal persecution of protected species such as the hen harrier and, as I have recently said in relation to another shooting, I am prepared to look at further measures to strengthen and assist enforcement if we continue to see this flouting of the law in respect of protected species.”

The rest of this article appears in the 12th December issue of Shooting Times.

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