Scottish landowners' licences at risk

Scottish landowners could be faced with losing their general licences if evidence of raptor crime is found on their estate. Scottish National Heritage has announced a new proposal to strip “certain areas of land” and individuals of their licence to control numbers of other birds, such a crows and pigeons, regardless of an unsuccessful prosecution. Those under suspicion of foul play are to be assessed by SNH staff using police evidence.

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The Scottish Gamekeepers Association has opposed the proposal, stating that the loss of general licences due to suspicion of raptor crime would drastically threaten those whose livelihoods depend on it.

BASC also voiced concern, pointing out that if “an estate was to have the general licences withdrawn this would affect conservation and agricultural interests.”

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