Almost two thirds of Scottish gamekeepers threatened or abused, study shows

A new study has suggested that as many as 64% of Scottish gamekeepers experience threatening behaviour or abuse from members of the public at least once every year.

The revelation comes as part of a wider research into the employment rights of gamekeepers which was commissioned by the Scottish Government. The study surveyed 152 gamekeepers which constitutes between 10-13% of the Scottish gamekeeping population.

Among the other findings is a suggestion that up to 79% of gamekeepers feel less optimistic about their future, which is reportedly driven by targeted anti-shooting campaigns, a lack of government support and the negative portrayal of shooting in the public domain.

BASC Scotland’s political and press officer, Ross Ewing, said: “The findings of this research are deeply concerning and suggest that a significant number of gamekeepers across the country are experiencing unacceptable levels of abusive or threatening behaviour.

“It is clear that this contemptuous behaviour is in part a product of concerted and maligned campaigns against shooting. It is incumbent on the Scottish Government to condemn this abuse and take steps to support Scotland’s gamekeepers who make an important and undervalued contribution to both society and the managed countryside.”