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Shooting | On the Glorious 12th – the first official day of the grouse shooting season – a row broke out over the Scottish government’s proposals for a licensing scheme. The new Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill, which is currently moving through Parliament, would tighten regulations on the management of grouse moors, as well as increasing investigatory powers for wildlife crime. On Saturday, Scottish Land and Estates called for the government to amend the bill, arguing that the measures were “excessively disproportionate”, and that sustainable moor management provides “a huge boost” to the rural economy and “remarkable” conservation benefits. Meanwhile, the Scottish Greens spoke out against the shooting season, calling it a “festival of violence” and a “cruel and outdated hobby”. They added that the Bill was necessary to prevent illegal persecution of Scotland’s iconic birds of prey, such as the golden eagle. The BBC covered the news. Elsewhere, a gamekeeper in the Peak District has warned that the decision by United Utilities not to renew shooting licences is an environmental “disaster”, reports the Telegraph. Also to mark the 12th, the Guardian has released a podcast mini-series called ‘Killing the Skydancer’, investigating the illegal killing of birds of prey on grouse moors.
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