Section 1A — Exception: stalking and flushing from cover

Part of Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:45 pm on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of Alex Fergusson Alex Fergusson Conservative 2:45 pm, 13th February 2002

Presiding Officer, you will be pleased to hear that I will be extremely brief. Amendments 8, 9 and 10 are designed solely to tighten up the drafting of section 1A to ensure that legitimate vermin control, which the Parliament has consistently said it does not wish to alter—though I fear for its future after the previous debate—can continue without the risk of malicious prosecutions. That will protect the hill packs and the gamekeepers.

The bill shows a considerable lack of sympathy with, and understanding of, pest control activities as they are carried out on the ground or the practical considerations of those who carry out those perfectly legitimate activities. Amendments 8, 9 and 10 do not seek to alter the substance of section 1A, but will give added protection to those people who are engaged in pest control activities which, I repeat, the Parliament stated at stage 1 it wished to exempt.

Amendments 40, 49 and 50 would similarly tighten up the wording of the bill, and would provide similar protection to those who undertake perfectly legitimate activities.

I move amendment 8.