Pressure from public forces halting of cull
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.”