The Scottish Government has recently issued their Consultation Report on The Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill and propose to introduce the Bill into the Scottish Parliament during the summer. The Bill is intended to reduce regulatory burdens while helping to protect and enhance the natural environment for future generations. The proposals will affect farmers, land managers, forestry businesses, gamekeepers, shooting estates and land developers.

Proposals in the Bill include:

  • new rules on deer management;
  • modernised and deregulated game law (relating to game birds and ground game) dating back to the 19th century;
  • tighter restrictions on keeping, releasing and controlling invasive non-native species;
  • more efficient species licensing administration;
  • more flexibility in how muirburn (controlled burning of heather, grass and other moorland) is carried out;
  • more consistent badger protection legislation;
  • new rules on snaring, including a tough new accreditation scheme for those who set snares; and
  • changes to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) legislation.

The Consulation Report can be read at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/05/11155724/1