Following a public consultation conducted last year, the Scottish Government will unveil its update of the General Licences for the control of pest birds in Scotland next Tuesday, 1 April.

The revised licences were scheduled for release in January 2008, allowing for a period of consolidation and adoption of the new rules. However, a three-month delay will mean that the licences will be immediately enforced on publication.

The latest draft features several controversial proposals, including a requirement for anyone operating under these licences to have read and understood them, where in the past it was sufficient to know that they existed. Additionally, anyone operating a Larsen trap will have to inform their local wildlife crime officer of their intention to do so. Scottish shooting organisations are apprehensive about the new rules, as the initial draft contained a number of inaccuracies.

BASC Scotland’s Colin Shedden explained: “The consultation included a lot of errors and misunderstandings, but we are pleased to say these have been rectified in the most recent draft. We have expressed our concerns to the Scottish Government and await a response.”

The rest of this article appears in 27 March issue of Shooting Times.

To read the latest draft General Licences visit the Scottish Government website

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