An­i­mal charity wel­comes re­view of use of stink pits

The Oban Times - - Outdoors -

LEAD­ING an­i­mal wel­fare charity One Kind has wel­comed the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to re­view stink pits.

It fol­lows the Stink Pits Stink de­bate, which was lodged by Chris­tine Gra­hame MSP.

Stink pits, or mid­dens, are used by game­keep­ers across Scot­land as a fun­da­men­tal part of preda­tor con­trol on shoot­ing es­tates, the charity said.

A One Kind spokesper­son said: ‘The pits are filled with bait such as wildlife car­casses, fish heads and other an­i­mal re­mains.’

The cabi­net sec­re­tary for en­vi­ron­ment, cli­mate change and land re­form, Roseanna Cun­ning­ham MSP, con­firmed two re­views would take place.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment Tech­ni­cal Assess­ment Group is to look at stink pits as part of an over­all re­view of snar­ing. An in­de­pen­dently-led group on grouse moor man­age­ment will also look at stink pits.

Ms Cun­ning­ham said: ‘I ap­pre­ci­ate that the idea of rot­ting car­casses in a stink pit will be re­pug­nant to many, if not most, peo­ple.

‘How­ever, it is the job of legis- la­tors to give care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion to how and why they are be­ing used be­fore im­me­di­ately com­ing to the con­clu­sion that they should be banned.’

Sarah Moyes, One Kind cam­paigner, added: ‘ We are pleased to see con­fir­ma­tion from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment that it will be re­view­ing stink pits. Th­ese bar­baric pits are noth­ing more than piles of rot­ting car­casses set to lure in more an­i­mals to kill.

‘ We want to see stink pits banned on eth­i­cal, an­i­mal wel­fare and pub­lic health grounds. We hope the re­views con­firmed in to­day’s de­bate will be the first step to­wards that hap­pen­ing.’

Farm­ers are not per­mit­ted to bury live­stock on their land, other than in des­ig­nated re­mote ar­eas in the High­lands and Is­lands, un­der the An­i­mal By-Prod­ucts (En­force­ment) (Scot­land) Reg­u­la­tions 2013.

But a spe­cial dero­ga­tion al­lows game­keep­ers to dis­pose of en­tire an­i­mal bod­ies, or parts of wild game, as long as this is ‘in ac­cor­dance with good hunt­ing prac­tice’.

The Scot­tish Game­keep­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion gave no com­ment.

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