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BASC: Shooters welcome Scottish government decision to delay pest control licences

Shooters welcome Scottish government decision to delay pest control licences

20 December 2007......immediate release

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has welcomed a decision from the Scottish Government to delay the introduction of new general licences which authorise the control of pest birds.

Press & policy officer for BASC Scotland, James Scott, said: "BASC Scotland, and others, were concerned that new and potentially very different licences were to be issued just ten days before they came into effect. These licences are vital for the protection of wild birds, crops, livestock and public health and most people who shoot will do part of their shooting under the terms of these licences.

"The Scottish Government has listened to the concerns of BASC Scotland and decided to re-issue the current licences until the end of March 2008. The detail of the new licences is still being finalised and we will be communicating any changes to the shooting community early in the New Year".

Minister for Environment, Michael Russell MSP, said: "The new general licences represent a new approach. We have rationalised the system so they are more focused on the activities of those who use them and we have revised some conditions to address conservation and welfare concerns. The shooting community plays a key role in countryside management and I am happy to provide this opportunity for them to become familiar with the new general licences."

The new licences are still undergoing revision and details are not yet available. It is expected that fairly major changes to some of the conditions on the licences will occur although no radical changes to the list of birds that can be controlled are anticipated.

ENDS

For further information please contact James Scott on 07977 558689, Colin Shedden on 07770 990222 or BASC Scotland on 01350 723226

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