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Calls for tabled Scottish wildlife bill to be scrapped

gamekeeper on moor

The proposed bill could cause widespread job losses

Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) has called for an end to ‘excessive’ legislation put forward by the Scottish government, in order to protect the revenues and jobs supported by game shooting.

Moorland managers and rural organisations across Scotland are growing increasingly concerned that the new Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill will threaten the income generated during the grouse season, along with the thousands of jobs that would be lost if the legislation goes ahead in its current form.

The 2023 season is the last before a new licensing scheme is introduced under the bill. SLE director of moorland Ross Ewing called the scheme “excessively disproportionate”, as it would allow NatureScot to suspend shooting licences if an official investigation was initiated, even without being satisfied that any relevant offence has been committed.

Mr Ewing added: “We would urge the Scottish government to amend the legislation, before it has an impact on jobs and the rural economy.”

The fieldsports sector is worth over £350m per year to the Scottish economy and supports over 11,000 full-time jobs. These land managers have helped to restore 25,000 hectares of degraded peatland since 2012.