Pres­sure from pub­lic forces halt­ing of cull

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS -

A hugely con­tro­ver­sial raven cull in High­land Perthshire has been halted af­ter a global back­lash.

Con­ser­va­tion body Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage (SNH) sparked out­rage when it is­sued a li­cence to shoot about 300 ravens in the Strath­braan area.

The Strath­braan Com­mu­nity Col­lab­o­ra­tion for Waders (SCCW) wanted to con­trol raven num­bers in an ef­fort to safe­guard the dwin­dling pop­u­la­tion of nest­ing waders.

How­ever, the move sparked fierce crit­i­cism from, among oth­ers, RSPB Scot­land and Spring­watch host Chris Pack­ham, who said it has left SNH’s rep­u­ta­tion in “blood­ied tat­ters”.

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple from across the world signed a pe­ti­tion against the plan.

Now SNH has an­nounced SCCW has vol­un­tar­ily sus­pended the cull, af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by SNH’s sci­en­tific ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee branded the scheme “in­ad­e­quate”.

SNH said the process would be halted un­til re­vised mon­i­tor­ing ar­range­ments were in place.

A spe­cific sci­en­tific ad­vi­sory group will now be cre­ated to as­sist the project and will in­clude mem­bers from the SNH sci­en­tific ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, the Bri­tish Trust for Or­nithol­ogy and the Game and Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Trust.

Pro­fes­sor Des Thomp­son, prin­ci­pal sci­en­tific ad­viser on sci­ence and bio­di­ver­sity at SNH, said: “We need to learn from this trial and the ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge gained and move on to de­velop ad­vice and sup­port for ac­tion to ben­e­fit waders.”

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