Dr Colin Shedden, BASC Scotland director, said: “It is of vital importance that users of the general licences in Scotland make themselves aware of the new terms and conditions. BASC is opposed to the revocation of general licences on certain designated sites, a list of which can be found here. We do not believe these changes are required and that this could over-burden the licensing process. We do not believe applying for permission in this instances is required and that this could over-burden the licensing process. We are meeting SNH next week and will seek to ensure that the process will be adequate and allow our members operating on protected sites to act as and when required .”
In response to the changes, a Spokesman for The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said: “The changes as regards SPAs are nothing other than a cave-in to Wild Justice who are motivated by causing as much disruption and frustration to shooting as possible. SNH itself has admitted there is no evidence to suggest General Licences are causing adverse impacts on SPAs but that ‘potentially’ they could. This is not justifiable or proportionate. There are lots of things in life that could ‘potentially’ happen. That doesn’t justify licensing everything. This is a response, in our view, motivated more by fear of legal challenge than the conservation of wildlife.
Read: Renewed General Licence brings greater protection for Scotland’s wild birds - Scottish Natural Heritage