Tuesday, 25 June 2019

PLEASE RESPOND TO CONSULTATION ON FOX CONTROL AND MOUNTAIN HARES.

The fox will often kill far more than is needed to feed itself or young.

On Monday June 24th 2019, Alison Johnstone MSP (Green Party) launched a public consultation on her proposal to ban the use of dogs in fox control and to outlaw all management of mountain and brown hare populations, unless under license.
The SGA will be strongly opposing all elements of this proposal.
Ending the use of scenting dogs to flush foxes from thick forestry blocks in Scotland, where no other  practical alternatives exist, will spell disaster for farm livestock and ground nesting wildlife, for which these proposals show no regard.
Much science has already been published on 'edge effects' around forestry which makes predation risk far higher in this environment for ground nesting birds, with the red fox a prolific predator.
The UK has the second highest fox population in Europe after Italy. There is no threat to the Scottish fox population and, while animal welfare must be a priority for all, the need for population control is beyond question. These proposals must be contested by those who believe in protecting farm livestock and species now classified as globally vulnerable. Removing a key tool for management within the very type of habitat where the fox thrives, defies all logic. Remember, Green MSPs, too, want to see an end to legal snaring. No consideration has been given to livestock which often have to be humanely dispatched following injuries by foxes.
The proposals surrounding mountain hare ignore the most up to date research, published in 2019, which showed that- even after population control- grouse moor management provides a net benefit for mountain hare conservation in Scotland.
These proposals, therefore, effectively seek to legislate against the landholdings sustaining the most robust populations whilst choosing to ignore the non-managed moors where hare populations are in inexorable decline through destruction of habitat and lack of beneficial management.
If the purpose of good legislation is to penalise those doing best- in population terms- then back this proposal. If, however, you do not believe this to be an evidenced step, please respond to the Consultation ahead of the closing date of September 15th 2019.

You can find the Consultation, here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WildMammals/

The beneficial impacts of fox, crow and stoat control for threatened wading birds.