The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Concerns over Muirburn Bill

The proposed Muirburn Bill would result in the grouse shooting industry becoming regulated.

The proposed Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill could put an end to game management despite claims that it will stop the “blight” of raptor persecution on Scottish grouse moors.

On 30 November, MSPs debated the bill, which would regulate the grouse shooting industry and bring in a code of practice for land management. Conservative MSP Racheal Hamilton said the legislation would have a serious impact on the rural economy, adding: “The bill ignores rural voices and goes much further than its intentions.”

MSPs backed the general principles of the bill by 82 votes to 32. Speaking after the vote, Lindsay Waddell, former chairman of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, told ST: “This is yet another tightening of the screw to put an end to game management north of the border with little or no real evidence that persecution has taken place.

“It’s all too easy to use debatable data to pursue an end, and as most of the released birds have been resident on shooting estates, the gamekeepers in the borders have played host to them for years now with none coming to any harm.”