Nature regulator reinstates grouse estate’s bird-kill licences following appeal

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has reinstated a grouse shooting estate’s discretionary bird-kill licences after the estate appealed the regulator’s action.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects all wild birds from persecution, but general licences can be obtained from the regulator to kill and control some bird species such as carrion crows, jays and jackdaws in certain circumstances.

Last month, SNH imposed a three-year general licence restriction on Leadhills Estate following evidence provided by Police Scotland that wildlife crime had taken place on the South Lanarkshire grouse estate, including the killing of a short-eared owl, two buzzards and three hen harriers’ that were ‘shot or caught in traps’ since 2014. 

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