News Blog Speak up for wild animals 25-04-23 Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill call for views supporter guide The Rural Affairs and Islands Committee in the Scottish Parliament wants to hear your views on the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill. This is the Bill that will license grouse shooting, introduce a ban on glue traps, and could possibly introduce a ban on snares. It is crucial that we all speak up in favour of stronger protections for wild animals. We have created this guide to help you respond, which should only take 10-15 minutes. For each question we have stated how we plan to respond to the tick box, and suggested some points you may want to think about when commenting. We encourage you to use your own words as much as possible, as this is much more impactful. Respond to the call to views The deadline is 5th of May so please respond before then. Glue traps Q1. Do you agree with the proposed ban on the use and purchase of glue traps (sections 1-3)? Yes You may wish to comment: That glue traps cause immense suffering, so a ban is necessary and should happen as soon as possible. That many of the points the Scottish Government has made about glue traps apply to snares as well, and so it is logical that snares should also be banned. Wildlife traps Q2. Do you agree there is a need for additional regulation of the use of certain wildlife traps? Yes You may wish to comment: On the suffering caused by many traps and the current lack of regulation and protection. That killing thousands of animals as a first response to any ‘problem’ must end, we should find ways to co-exist with wild animals and use less harmful methods. Q3. Do you agree with the proposed licensing system for the use of certain wildlife traps (sections 4-5)? Don't know You may wish to comment: That snares must be banned due to the extreme suffering they cause. That the use of ‘decoy’ birds in crow cage traps should be banned. ‘Decoy’ birds are put in a trap to lure others inside. We have grave concerns for their welfare and think this practice should be banned. That the proposed regulation is a good first step but won’t do enough to protect animal welfare. That the international consensus principles for ethical wildlife control should be followed, including prioritising less harmful methods, and this should be part of the training and application process. That people using traps should be required to keep records of the animals they catch. Whether you agree with land managers using traps to kill animals with the aim of protecting grouse, who are then shot for sport. Background to OneKind’s position on this question Various types of traps are commonly used, either to kill animals or confine them until a person comes to kill them (or in some cases release them). Most of them cause suffering before death. In some cases this can be severe and/or prolonged, but the extent of this harm has never been officially evaluated. The numbers of animals affected are also unknown, as there is currently no requirement to keep records of the animals killed. In OneKind’s response, we will be calling for a review of all trapping, which considers both the reasons for using traps and the impact they have on animal welfare. The results of this should determine what type of further regulation is appropriate, or in some cases may lead to a ban. The proposed licensing system is somewhat better than the current situation as it will require people using traps to attend training and register. But this approach will not address the ethical and animal welfare concerns around trapping. Even if the use of some traps continues in some circumstances, we are wholly opposed to their use to maximise the shooting of other animals for ‘fun’. The Scottish Government has reviewed the use of snares but has not yet announced the results. They plan to add something on snaring to the Bill at a later stage. From our perspective only a ban will suffice. Licensing scheme for land used to shoot red grouse Q4. Do you agree there is a need for additional regulation of land to be used to shoot red grouse? Yes You may wish to comment: On your feelings about killing animals for sport. On the damage caused by grouse moor management practices, including muirburn and killing thousands of animals to protect ‘gamebirds’, who are then shot for sport. Q5. Do you agree with the proposed licensing system for land to be used to shoot red grouse (sections 6-7)? Yes You may wish to comment: Your feelings about shooting animals for ‘sport’ and whether licensing goes far enough. If there is going to be licensing: That it should be a licence condition that anybody shooting ‘gamebirds’ or any other animals must pass a test to prove they are competent. That licence fees should be high enough to cover all costs, including enforcement. That the Code of Practice should not allow killing other wild animals to protect grouse. Additional powers to investigate wildlife crime Q6. Do you agree with the proposal to give the Scottish SPCA additional powers to investigate wildlife crime (section 8)? Yes Explanation: Currently the Scottish SPCA can only investigate offences when there is a live animal who is suffering and under the control of a person. This means in certain situations they aren’t allowed to fully investigate wildlife crime or animal welfare offences. Extending their powers would help them do their excellent work without restrictions and help partnership working with Police Scotland. Licensing scheme for muirburn Q7. Do you agree there is a need for additional regulation for muirburn? Q8. Do you agree with the proposed licensing system for muirburn (sections 9-19)? Our colleagues at REVIVE suggest you answer yes to both questions.