21 June, 2022
General licence restricted on Highland estate
NatureScot has restricted the use of general licences on Moy Estate for three years.
The decision was made on the basis of evidence provided by Police Scotland of wildlife crime against birds.
This evidence included a poisoned red kite found on the estate in 2020, and incidents in relation to trapping offences.
Donald Fraser, NatureScot’s Head of Wildlife Management, said: "We consider the information from Police Scotland provides robust evidence that wild birds have been killed or taken or there has been intention to do so illegally on this land.
“Because of this, and the risk of more wildlife crimes taking place, we have suspended the use of general licences on this property for three years until June 2025. They may still apply for individual licences, but these will be closely monitored.
“NatureScot is committed to using all the tools we have available to tackle wildlife crime. This measure will help to protect wild birds in the area, while still allowing necessary land management activities to take place, although under tighter supervision.
“We believe this is a proportionate response to protect wild birds in the area and prevent further wildlife crime. We will continue to work closely with Police Scotland and consider information they provide on cases which may warrant restricting general licences.”
General licences allow landowners or land managers to carry out control of common species of wild birds, such as crows and magpies, to protect crops or livestock, without the need to apply for an individual licence.
In addition to this restriction, there are currently three other restrictions in place on Invercauld Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, Lochan Estate in Perthshire and Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire.
See the full licence restrictions details at: https://www.nature.scot/doc/general-licences-birds-restrictions
- NatureScot Media
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Notes to editors
General Licences - The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects all wild birds. General licences permit authorised persons to carry out actions that would otherwise be illegal. They cover certain types of activity relating to birds, such as preventing damage to crops or livestock, preserving public health or air safety, and preventing the spread of disease. General licences cover situations which are seen as relatively commonplace and where there is unlikely to be any great conservation impact. General licences avoid the need for people to apply for individual licences for these specific circumstances. General licences are subject to strict conditions, and abuse of them or failure to comply with the conditions could constitute an offence. For more information, see the General Licence page on our website
NatureScot is Scotland's nature agency. We work to enhance our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. Our priority is a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot
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