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Politics of Pest Control

The Scottish Countryside Alliance question the need for Alison Johnstone or any other member of the Scottish parliament to take forward a wild mammal Bill.

Scottish Countryside Alliance director Jamie Stewart said:

We committed to working with the Scottish Government and Lord Bonomy to review the current Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 and its commitment to the humane and effective management of wild mammals.

Lord Bonomy concluded that "the use of packs of hounds to flush out foxes to be shot remains a significant pest control measure, both to control the general level of foxes in an area as well as to address particular problems affecting a farm or estate". And that further restrictions "could seriously compromise effective pest control in our country".

Even the lowest estimates suggest around 36,000 new born and infant lambs are slaughtered by foxes every year. In addition to this, circa 25,000 + ewes suffer the emotional trauma of losing their lambs.

The direct economic loss of the lambs is approx £2.2 million. The loss of investment through maintaining the 25,000 + ewes and associated tups, for no return is a further circa £1.5 million. A direct annual loss of £3.7 million pounds to the rural economy.

Alison Johnstone's proposals directly contradicts all the available evidence on fox management and welfare, and she knows it. Her proposed bill jumps on every available bandwagon and has no justification on the basis of evidence or principle.

Her proposals would remove the rights of farmers across Scotland to effectively control foxes and protect their livelihoods, with no evidential justification whatsoever.

While we recognise a members right to progress a bill, we remain committed to working with the Scottish Government and the humane and effective management of wild mammals. We look forward to helping the Government further develop the operational protocols for the necessary management of foxes and other wild mammals

Please find our response to Alison Johnstone's bill here. Feel free to review the response and to use the statistical analysis to aid your own personal response. The consultation closes on the 15th September. Don't let this opportunity to have your voice heard pass by.

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