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Public funds for predator control?

The RSPB in Scotland has lent its support to the idea that predator control should form part of Government-funded conservation.

At a conference last month on the future of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding, the idea that predator control options should be more widely available as part of conservation ?bundles? was broadly welcomed.

When asked about this aspect of the conference, director of RSPB Scotland Stuart Housden, who attended the event in Perth, told Shooting Times: ?There is growing evidence that legal predator control will help the recovery of some groundnesting birds, though predator control alone is no substitute for targeted habitat management for scarce birds such as capercaillie, blackgrouse and waders.?

Dr Adam Smith, director for Scotland at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), who was also at the meeting, concurred that predator control should be carried out not in isolation but as part of a package of targeted measures. He said: ?Among the many topics discussed, there was a strong feeling that predator control should be more widely supported. However, predator control alone may not be effective ? one could say that, no matter how many crows are killed in a car park, you won?t get lapwings to nest on tarmac.?

The rest of this article appears in the 18th April issue of Shooting Times.

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