REVIVE coalition urges Parliament to be bold on new wildlife Bill

22nd March 2023

The Scottish Government has today published its draft Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill. The Bill has been introduced to protect the environment and tackle the persecution of birds of prey. It is expected to significantly change the way in which large areas of Scotland are managed, making it one of the biggest interventions in this area for generations.

Campaign Manager for REVIVE, Max Wiszniewski said: “The proposed bill is a major intervention in land management that regulates destructive practices through licensing, instead of stopping them.

“Intensively managed grouse moors are unnatural monocultures that are burned and stripped of competing wildlife so more grouse can be shot for sport. By creating a circle of destruction around huge areas of our land, biodiversity and more diverse economic opportunities are missed for Scottish people and communities.

“With a new First Minister on the horizon, as the bill progresses through Parliament, we hope it will be even bolder and braver to meet the expectations of the Scottish people.”

The Bill follows a review into grouse moor management led by Professor Werritty, the findings of which were published in December 2019. A year later the Scottish Government committed to introduce measures which will hold land managers far more accountable for their activities.

The Bill proposes to strictly regulate the use of muirburn, the controlled burning of vegetation, on peatland as well as ending raptor persecution. It also includes measures to ensure grouse moors are managed sustainably, to ban the use of glue traps for rodents and tighten regulations for the use of other types of wildlife traps.

Robbie Marlsand, Director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, a REVIVE coalition partner added: “When it comes to grouse shooting, this Bill appears well intentioned but kicks a couple of contentious cans down the road. Snares are primitive, cruel and indiscriminate. This Bill should remove them from the Scottish countryside - with no ifs and no buts.

“The impact of this Bill on killing grouse for sport will also depend much on the content of a yet to be written code of conduct that shooting estates must comply with. Only when that is finalised will we be able to appreciate the potential impact of this legislation. For example, hundreds of thousands of animals are killed each year so that there can be more grouse to shoot for fun and it’s not yet known if this Bill will change that.

“Killing any animal for entertainment is repugnant to the majority of people in Scotland. We therefore welcome any incremental steps that will make it more difficult to do.”


Notes to editor

  1. Revive is a coalition of like-minded organisations working for grouse moor reform in Scotland. Coalition partners include Common Weal, OneKind, Friends of the Earth Scotland, League Against Cruel Sports and Raptor Persecution UK. 
  2. Media enquiries to Louise Robertson on 07930 539832 /
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