WHILE few would dispute Ross Montague's statement (3 August) that shooting plays a very important role in the rural economy, his assertion that a "very small criminal minority" are involved in the illegal persecution of birds of prey must be challenged.
This is the oft heard cry, but the reality is this takes place right across Scotland, with several high-profile shooting estates recently being involved in court cases.
While those in the shooting industry wring their hands in angst, the illegal persecution continues with around 50 golden eagles being killed every year, thus depriving Scots and tourists alike from enjoying Scotland's most iconic bird.
Expressions of regret are not enough; it is action that is required. But the shooting industry has over many years failed to root out the culprits.
The Scottish Government is rapidly running out of patience, and the threat of the licensing of shooting estates looms closer - either they finally stop it or legislation will.
Logan D Steele