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Response: Massive changes for grouse moors following Werritty review - Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association

Grouse shooting review report will mean ‘seismic’ change for moors in Scotland.

Urgent meeting sought with government.

Rural organisations said today that the recommendations of a government-commissioned review of grouse moor management will mean a ‘seismic’ change for grouse moors across Scotland.

Following publication of the review group’s report, a joint statement was issued by: British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Scottish Countryside Alliance, Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association, Scottish Association for Country Sports and Scottish Land & Estates.

“The recommendations of the Werritty Review will mean a seismic change for grouse moors across Scotland. This report has recommended a barrage of measures that will leave the grouse shooting sector engulfed by legislation and red tape. On top of that, penalties for wildlife crime in Scotland are about to get much tougher. The sector has already willingly embraced change and improvements in how it operates. We believe further enhanced training and codes of practice covering muirburn, mountain hare management and medicated grit are the best solution rather than onerous licensing provisions and we will be seeking an urgent meeting with government to discuss these key areas. The review group has recognised that there is no case for the banning of driven grouse shooting. They also accepted that licensing of grouse moors in general is hugely contentious, complex and unnecessary at this time. Nor is there scientific evidence to justify such a measure. Should it be introduced in the future, it would push an important rural business sector beyond breaking point. Grouse shooting plays a vital role in helping to sustain communities and delivers multiple social, economic and environmental benefits. It would be a tragedy if the massive private investment that underpins these benefits is put at risk by a package of regulatory measures that will herald fundamental change.”

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