The Scottish Government has announced the launch of a new working group to aid applications from keepers wishing to control protected predators, such as buzzards and sparrowhawks.

The move follows the Scottish Government’s recent admission that it overlooked issuing specific guidelines for protecting gamebirds when it published its original guidance in May. The group will include the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, BASC and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA).

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We intend to produce comprehensive guidelines for the lethal control of predatory birds to protect pheasant poults. However, lethal control will continue to be considered as a last resort used only where all other alternatives have failed.”

The rest of this article appears in 11th November issue of Shooting Times.

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