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Moy Estate general licence restricted after red kite poisoned

A Highlands estate has had its general licence revoked for three years following evidence wild birds were killed “illegally”. 

A poisoned red kite found on Moy Estate in 2020, as well as incidents connected to trapping offences, were among the evidence of wildlife crime presented by Police Scotland.

It is understood that traces of a prohibited pesticide were found in the bird of prey.

NatureScot took the decision restrict land managers control on numbers of common wild birds amid a “risk of more wildlife crimes taking place”. 

While all wild birds are protected, general licences allow landowners to trap and shoot some common species to protect crops or livestock. 

Landowners may now apply for individual licences but they “will be closely monitored”, the head of wildlife management for NatureScot said. 

Donald Fraser added: “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.

General licences cover situations which are unlikely to have a great impact on conservation, but their abuse can constitute an offence. 

Mr Fraser added: “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.”

Restrictions on general licences are also in place on Invercauld Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, Lochan Estate in Perthshire and Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire.

 



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