BASC Scotland director Dr Colin Shedden has appeared before the Scottish Parliament’s public petitions committee to speak out against a petition calling for a state regulated licensing system for all game bird hunting in the country.

Dr Shedden outlined the large amount of existing regulation shoots are already subject to and emphasised the positive results achieved by recent legislative changes and partnership working.

He said: “During the evidence session we were able to express our concerns about the proposed licensing system. We are already subject to a high volume of regulation and there are sufficient criminal sanctions in place to deter and catch criminals. There is no evidence that a licensing scheme would be any more effective but it would undoubtedly place a burden on shooting in Scotland.”

BASC has previously criticised inflammatory and far-fetched claims made by the RSPB and the Scottish Raptor Studies Group in their evidence in support of the petition.

During a previous evidence session, it was claimed that Scottish shooting businesses are “underpinned by illegality”, that it is difficult for wildlife tourism operators to find wildlife to show visitors and tourists are being put off visiting areas of Scotland because of the ‘endemic’ persecution of protected species.

It was also suggested a licensing scheme should be implemented to restrict the number of pheasants released on shoots. BASC believes this proposal has nothing to do with raptor persecution but gives an insight into the anti-shooting agenda of those making the claims.

The petition was referred to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee where it will be considered after the Christmas recess.


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