The Scottish Government is currently consulting on proposals to change some wildlife ‘management’ practices. The main proposal is to license grouse shooting, but will also include further regulation of trapping and snaring, and a ban on glue traps.

Wire snare in countryside

We have been working hard to urge the Scottish Government to introduce a full snaring ban and you’ve been right there alongside us. We now have another opportunity to show the Government that the further regulation of snaring and traps will not put an end to the suffering of wild animals trapped in these cruel devices. Only a full ban will put an end to this suffering.

The changes will come in a new Bill next year.

Consultation guide

We would urge you to please respond to the consultation and have created this handy guide to help you do so. It should only take about 15 minutes of your time and of course you can skip some questions or sections if you want to! We’d encourage you to respond in your own words as much as possible for maximum impact.

Respond to the consultation

We want to see an end to so-called ‘sports’ that involve killing animals. However, working towards legislative change is not straightforward. Therefore, we will support the Scottish Government proposals, but in our response will make it clear that in their current form they do not go far enough.

Make your voice heard and help us bring stronger protections for wild animals.

The consultation closes on the 14th of December so please make sure that you respond before then.

Section 1 – Licensing of grouse shooting

We suggest you answer YES to all of the yes/no tick box questions in this section and select ‘record keeping’ and ‘reporting requirements’ as a condition of licensing in question 12.

There is space for comments in Question 16. Some points you may want to make in your own words are:

  • It should be a licence condition that anybody shooting ‘gamebirds’ or any other animals must pass a test to prove they are competent
  • Licence fees should be high enough to cover all costs, including enforcement
  • Following the code of practice should be a legal requirement
  • Any other thoughts you have about grouse shooting and related practices

Section 2 – Muirburn

Our REVIVE colleagues suggest answering YES to every question except 21 and 22, where they suggest the definition of peatland than cannot be burned on should be peat from a depth of 30cm.

You may wish to comment on whether this environmentally destructive practice should be carried out to allow more grouse to be shot for ‘sport’. 

Section 3.1 – Wildlife traps

This section proposes regulation of traps such as crow cage traps and spring traps. This will bring an improvement on the current situation, so we suggest:

  • select all types of traps (tick five boxes) for questions 25, 26, and 27
  • select ‘record keeping’ and ‘reporting requirements (tick two boxes) for question 28
  • select YES for question 29

However, although further regulation is better than nothing, these proposals do not go nearly far enough. In the space for comments, question 31, you may wish to mention:

  • Whether you think it is acceptable to kill wild animals to protect grouse so that people can shoot them for ‘sport’
  • Some of these traps cause severe and prolonged suffering and regulation is unlikely to change that
  • You cannot regulate cruelty
  • Traps can catch a wide range of species other than those targeted
  • Any ‘management’ of wild animals should follow the International Consensus Principles for Ethical Wildlife Control

Section 3.2 – Glue Traps

We suggest answering YES to the questions in this section except 34 – this suggests a transition period, but we think the ban on glue traps should be immediate.

In the comments section, question 35, you may wish to comment on how strongly you support this decision to ban glue traps, which cause unimaginable suffering.

Section 3.3

In this section we would suggest that you do not answer the tick boxes at all, and in the comments section, question 38, say that you want a full ban on snares. This has also been called for by the Wild Animal Welfare Committee and the British Veterinary Association. There is no way to regulate snares that can prevent them causing suffering, it is time for a full ban. 

Respond to the consultation