The call from the Scottish Raptor Study Groups (your report, 25 January), for the grouse shooting industry to be licensed is a matter for regret, although sadly inevitable following decades of failed initiatives, joint working groups, codes of practice committees and legislative changes.
The industry had it within its gift to cease the illegal persecution of birds of prey years ago, but chose not to. Within the past month alone on grouse moors, we have seen a poisoned golden eagle in Angus, a shot buzzard in Stirlingshire, poisoned baits in South Lanarkshire, and an “illegally killed” buzzard in Inverness-shire (and these are only those offences detected).
The minister of the environment’s mailbox has been inundated following the most recent eagle poisoning and with questions from several MSPs, the grouse shooting industry has finally brought upon itself the spectre of licensing. Many members of the public and MSPs alike are sickened with the industry and now is the time to license grouse shooting estates.
Logan D Steele