League against Cruel Sports supports government's proposed end to rates relief on sporting estates
The charity particularly welcomes the end to business rates relief for shooting estates, which will generate around £7 million a year and, more importantly, stop the special tax arrangement given to the blood sport.
However, the League would also like to see more detail on the change that allows Scottish Ministers to intervene in certain circumstances.
The charity agrees that wildlife crime should be deemed as a "barrier to sustainable development", as crimes like the mass poisoning of kites in the Black Isle earlier this year and the poisoning of the golden eagle in Fearnan almost a year ago, damage the Scotland’s lucrative wildlife tourism industry, which is estimated to be worth £1.4 billion and employs 39,000 people.
Jennifer Dunn, Senior Public Affairs Officer for the League in Scotland, said: "We are delighted that the Scottish Government are ending business rates relief for shooting estates. Driven bird shooting is particularly harmful to the environment as well as being steeped in cruelty. Often factory farmed, game birds are blasted out of the sky in their hundreds, with many simply then just dumped rather than taken to be eaten.
“Shooting is also bad news for the other species, such as foxes, hares and badgers which are snared or shot in the name of supporting the game bird population.
"We are also interested in the proposals to give powers to intervene if it is felt landowners are a 'barrier to sustainable development'. The League believes that anyone who allows crimes against wildlife to take place on their estates is not fit to manage that land, and we'd be eager to see Ministers given the right to intervene in circumstance where an estate was engaging in raptor persecution or any other form of wildlife crime."