Animal charity welcomes review of use of stink pits
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.