Monday, 26 September 2016

STANDING UP FOR YOUR PROFESSION: 3 THINGS YOU CAN DO.




The SGA would like to encourage all of its members and supporters to help ensure that MPs at Westminster hear both sides of the story in the forthcoming (October) debate regarding grouse shooting.

We want you to do 3 simple things.

As you will know, a petition to ban driven grouse shooting in England and Wales reached the number of signatories for a Parliamentary debate.
Ahead of this debate, the Petitions Committee will allow MPs to hear evidence from both sides on Tuesday 18th October at 2.15pm. This session, involving the petition’s creator, RSPB, Moorland Association, and Countryside Alliance reps can be viewed on Parliament TV on the day.

If you care about grouse shooting and its benefits to the country, these are the three things you can do beforehand.

1/ Sign the petition to Protect Grouse Moors and Grouse Shooting. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/164851

2/ Send a response to the Committee by the deadline of October 5th. 
(this consist of 3 short and simple questions).

3/ Once you have done this, write to your MP and MSP to tell them why you strongly believe - from your own experience- that grouse shooting should be supported on both sides of the border.

If you want to find your local MP, enter your postcode into this site: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

If you want to find your local MSP, enter your postcode into this site: http://www.parliament.scot/help/32438.aspx

PLEASE NOTE: On contacting your MP, you may be told that this issue is a reserved matter pertaining to England and Wales. This is technically true. However, as it is a debate, it is important your MP knows your interests, as a constituent. Please tell them that any changes in England could influence future debate in Scotland and that there is cross-border employment interests in the industry. 

Yours Sincerely, 


Alex Hogg, Chairman, Scottish Gamekeepers Association.


Friday, 23 September 2016

Tick and Lyme disease awareness raising materials (Pilot study - University of the Highlands and Islands

The Rural Health and Wellbeing Team at the University of the Highlands and Islands are piloting some awareness raising materials about ticks and Lyme disease, and have developed a website with information and downloadable resources: www.checkforticks.org.uk.
There is also a bug and tick treasure hunt game (for children and adults!) that can be tested out at Abriachan Forest (Loch Ness) until the end of October.
For more information contact: sarah.morton@uhi.ac.uk or complete the short survey to feedback what you think of the materials: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/CheckforTicks1/

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

NEW RODENTICIDE RULES ON 1ST OCTOBER AND TRAINING MILESTONE

No certification, no sale of rodenticides from 1 October
From 1 October farmers, gamekeepers, pest controllers and their employees buying professional rodenticide packs for use outdoors will need to show either an approved certificate of competence or document confirming membership of an approved farm assurance scheme.
Without documentation from that date onwards, all sellers including those online are prohibited from completing the sale under the conditions of the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime.
During September, remaining stocks with pre-stewardship labels can still be sold. These are being replaced by stewardship-authorised rodenticides, which carry legally-binding requirements from HSE specifying user certification and compliance with product label conditions of use.
The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) reports to HSE for implementation of the stewardship regime. In addition to new conditions of sale, CRRU UK chairman Dr Alan Buckle says the way rodenticides are used must change if we are to reduce the occurrence of residues in wildlife.
"For many years it was thought best practice to set out bait points on farms, shooting estates and around rural premises, then keep them permanently topped up with rodenticide," he says. "We now believe this practice is responsible, at least in part, for the contamination of wildlife that we now see so widely in the UK."
CRRU UK has recently published new guidelines about safer and effective alternatives to permanent baiting, when it may be justified and, if it is, how to do it most safely.

*The SGA is pleased to announce that the 1000th gamekeeper to take the rodenticide course run for rat control by SGA and other rural organisations has just been recorded.

Monday, 5 September 2016

CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK CONSULTATION





The SGA is bringing members' attention to an important consultation which could have a significant impact on how they go about their jobs in land management.
The following consultation, with a deadline of September 30th, contains sections on how deer and grouse moors are to be managed within the Cairngorms National Park.
Please take the time to complete the consultation. See here: http://cairngorms.co.uk/working-partnership/consultations/thebig9/ and ensure Park officials hear a balanced view of how land is managed in the area.

SGA MEMBERS CAN HELP WITH WILD BOAR SIGHTINGS

The SGA recently held constructive discussions with SNH about wild boar in Scotland.
In order to help SNH accurately map the distribution of boar in Scotland, we are encouraging members to report any sightings or provide cull returns.
Having the best available information regarding populations will help assess the spread of the species and any possible steps which might be undertaken to control numbers.

There are three methods by which SGA members can assist.

1/ Submit casual sightings through the irecord web page: http://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/enter-casual-record

2/ An app to record sightings can be downloaded to a phone from this web page http://www.mammal.org.uk/science-research/record-submission/
Both steps 1 and 2 mean the records are stored to the National Biodiversity Network and members can see the records of their sightings, and all others, here.

3/ Members can also email sightings to the SEARS web page by mailing info@sears.scotland.gsi.uk 
To do so, the following information will be required: 

Location, including a description and grid reference if possible
Date
Time
Number of adult and young boar seen
Any additional information that may be of use.

We encourage all members to get involved if they see any wild boar in the countryside.

Friday, 2 September 2016

CONSULTATION ON THE FUTURE OF FORESTRY

Pic: New beginnings: New tree growing on mounded soil. SGA members and others will be interested in the newly announced Scottish Government consultation on the future of forestry in Scotland. If this is of interest, you can find out more and complete the consultation by 9th November 2016.
See the link, here: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scotland-s-Forests-29bf.aspx 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

CONSULTATION ON SALMON CONSERVATION ASSESSMENTS FOR 2017 LAUNCHED


All members of the SGA Fishing Group are being invited to send a response to the 28 day consultation on the process for assessing salmon conservation status of rivers for 2017.
This is an important issue for all group members, as has been indicated, so please take the opportunity to help shape the outcome and ensure the measures strike the right balance.
The SGA Fishing Group will also be sending a group response so please email your input to info@scottishgamekeepers.co.uk or post to the private group Facebook page.
Details of the relevant Scottish Government documents can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/fishreform/licence/status/limits

The consultation closes on 29th September 2016.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Office Hours

The SGA Office will be closed for the Public Holidays on Monday 29th August, Monday 5th September and Monday 3rd October.  If you require anything urgently then please call and the phones will be transferred to the office managers mobile.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

SGA STATEMENT: MISSING HEN HARRIER

GAMEKEEPERS' RESPONSE TO RSPB PRESS RELEASE ON MISSING HEN HARRIER
A Spokesman for The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said: "As with other recent allegations, the SGA will work with Police Scotland and Scottish Government in an attempt to get to the bottom of this. It is clearly a situation which cannot go on. We have no independent information, at the present time, so getting the facts will be the first step. Speculation, at this stage, will not help.
"The SGA does not, and will never, condone wildlife crime. As an organisation we advocate legal solutions, solely, as the means to resolve conflicts. If there is any evidence of illegal activity by an SGA member, appropriate action will be taken."

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

PUBLIC CONSULTATION: SOUTH OF SCOTLAND GOLDEN EAGLE PROJECT


There are plans to increase the number of golden eagles in the South of Scotland.
If you have any views on this or want to learn more about the project, visit: https://www.goldeneaglessouthofscotland.co.uk where you will also find a public consultation document.