In response to a report by the RSPB, commissioned by SNH, on red kites in Scotland between 2007 and 2014, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association issued the following statement.
A Spokesman from The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said: “Red Kite conservation is a huge success story in Scotland and many SGA members are playing an active part in this success which we, as an organisation, welcome and encourage. Before and after the period this report covers, we have had members taking part in regular ringing activity of red kites with local raptor groups and we are pleased to see this work continuing.
“The SGA played a significant role in Scottish Government’s pesticide disposal scheme last year and, along with partners on both sides of the border, have been running accredited rodenticide courses in 2015 and 2016 for gamekeepers as part of the official UK stewardship scheme aimed at wildlife-friendly, best practice pest control. A lot of constructive work is being undertaken.
“If a tiny minority continue to take part in illegal practices, this is through no encouragement whatsoever from the SGA and all our members know they will be expelled from the organisation if convicted of wildlife crime.
“We are pleased that the report mentions, for the first time, potential impacts of wind farms on raptor survival rates as this is now a reality in the modern Scottish countryside, although we feel the role of feeding stations deserve further analysis in the context of whether this impacts on the natural dispersal of reintroduced birds.”