Revive coalition welcomes passage of wildlife bill through Scottish parliament

Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill passes Stage 1

Coalition welcomes Scottish Parliament’s support for much needed wildlife legislation

The Scottish Parliament has today (Thursday) voted in support of the principles of the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill, meaning the Bill will now proceed to Stage 2. The vote was passed by 82 for and 32 against. There were no abstentions. 

REVIVE, the coalition for grouse moor reform has welcomed today’s result. Campaigns Manager Max Wiszniewski said: “The management of grouse moors is woefully unregulated, which over hundreds of years has led to intensively managed, unnatural monocultures that are burned, and where hundreds of thousands of wild animals are killed every year, so more grouse can be shot for sport.

“We welcome today’s vote and support from the Scottish Parliament for new legislation that has the potential to end the circle of destruction which surrounds huge areas of our land which stifles biodiversity and prevents more diverse economic opportunities for Scottish people and communities.

Speaking at the debate, the Minister for Energy and the Environment, Gillian Martin said: “The bill is just one of the elements of the Scottish Government’s ambitious programme to protect and restore our natural environment and improve animal welfare but is a vital element taken together the measures in this bill will strengthen the protections for our wildlife, ensure that our grouse moors are managed in a way that enhances biodiversity in a natural environment, improve the reputation of Scottish shooting estates, provide greater protection for our precious peatlands.”

The Bill includes measures to provide greater protection for birds of prey, licence grouse shooting businesses, ban snaring, regulate muirburn - the practice of burning heather on moorland to create habitat for grouse - and include a statutory ban for burning on peatland.

Recent polling revealed three quarters of Scots are against grouse moor land management practices. The polling commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports on behalf of REVIVE, and carried out by the Diffley Partnership show the use of predator control on grouse moors is opposed by over three quarters (76%) of the public, with 73% opposed to the practice of muirburn to change the landscape to ensure there are more grouse available for shooting. Both these practices are supported by just one in ten people. The figures also show six in ten people oppose grouse shooting, with only 13% supporting it.

Max Wiszniewski added: “These figures show considerable opposition from the public to a bloodsport which takes over a disproportionate amount of the Scottish countryside. We are pleased to see this public opinion reflected in today’s vote in the Scottish Parliament.”


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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