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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

MSP RECEIVES WILDFOWLING RESPONSES FROM THE MORAY COUNCIL, SCOTTISH NATURAL HERITAGE AND THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT

07/03/2016  

Richard Lochhead has received responses from The Moray Council, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Government Minister for Environment, following letters he wrote them seeking their feedback on wildfowling on Findhorn Bay Nature Reserve which has received much attention in recent months. 

The Minister for Environment, Aileen McLeod has advised that the role of SNH is limited unless there is evidence that wildfowling is damaging the conservation of the birds being shot and suggested that local byelaws would be the best solution to ongoing concerns at Findhorn Bay.  It would therefore appear that asking The Moray Council to introduce a byelaw is certainly an appropriate approach. The Council’s response mentions that they have been contacted by both Findhorn Bay Local Nature Reserve’s Management Committee seeking regulation and Friends of Findhorn Bay who are petitioning for a complete ban on wildfowling.

The petition will follow the Council’s petitions process and as such will be discussed and considered by Councillors at the Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee on 8th March. 

Commenting, Richard Lochhead said:

“Wildfowling has been under the spotlight in recent months and it is clear that there is a case for action, the debate is of course whether there should be regulation or a complete ban.  It has been made clear to me that the community wants a resolution before the next wildfowling season commences in September and I continue to be contacted on a daily basis about the matter.   

“I was interested to hear from Scottish Natural Heritage of the action being taken to manage wildfowling in other areas of Scotland and now that both Findhorn Bay Local Nature Reserve’s Management Committee has approached the Council and Friends of Findhorn Bay have submitted their petition, the Council are well informed as to the views of the groups.  While the outcome they seek differs, with the Nature Reserve’s Management Committee wanting regulation whilst the Friends of Findhorn Bay seek a complete ban, both groups are clear that they want action by way of local byelaws.  I am therefore very interested to hear the outcome of the Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee on 8th March when it will be decided how things will proceed.”

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