Section 1A — Exception: stalking and flushing from cover

Part of Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:00 pm on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of Sylvia Jackson Sylvia Jackson Labour 2:00 pm, 13th February 2002

Amendment 51 proposes to insert a phrase whereby the possession of firearms as well as a firearms certificate is required. An exemption to the bill is the permission of lawful pest control when the pest species is shot. As the bill is worded, a person could have the landowner's permission to carry out the activity and be the holder of a firearms licence or shotgun certificate but not have the weapon with them at the material time, thereby not showing that they have an intention to shoot. Amendment 51 closes that loophole.

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has urged the inclusion of amendment 51 in the belief that it would be helpful to police officers or other persons charged with implementing the provisions of the bill. The basis for exemptions for pest control in the bill is that the target wild mammal must be shot, if possible. In operational terms, it is not enough to require that the person undertaking the activity should have a firearms or shotgun certificate; he must also be in possession of the firearms at the material time. Anyone purporting to undertake pest control using dogs but not carrying a gun may be assumed to be engaged in baiting. Requiring possession of the gun at the material time clarifies the position and will assist officers of the law and persons seeking to carry out lawful pest control. I urge members to support amendment 51.