Thursday, 27 June 2019

STATEMENT: HEN HARRIER

A statement from the SGA was released today in response to an RSPB story regarding a Hen Harrier in a trap in Perthshire.

A Spokesman from The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said: “As an organisation, where there is proven criminality, we share the abhorrence felt when a bird of prey is illegally killed. If such a case involves an SGA member, we take firm and appropriate action by revoking membership, as we have done on 7 occasions in the past 7 years. In this case, we understand that the estates co-operated fully with Police, and Police did not treat anyone as a suspect.
“The estates have made it clear they were not responsible for the setting of the trap. 
“A number of things may have happened to the bird in the lengthy intervening period between the tag signalling in November then again in May.
“We are aware that grouse moors are currently the subject of governmental review, with some organisations actively seeking legislation of the sector. However, we consider it irresponsible for assertions of guilt to be levelled with no supporting evidence during a live investigation and at a time when Police do not consider staff at the estates to be suspects. 
“All evidence from the tag should be made available for independent scrutiny and assessment; something which does not happen currently. It appears this tag was going on and off over long periods which begs questions as to what can actually be known. Perhaps with greater transparency surrounding the tag data, those responsible can be caught and brought to justice.”