Section 1A — Exception: stalking and flushing from cover

Part of Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:15 pm on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of Alasdair Morgan Alasdair Morgan Scottish National Party 3:15 pm, 13th February 2002

I think that most members agree with the bill's main intentions and want to maintain legitimate methods of pest control. It is interesting that those who are in favour of the bill and those who are against it exaggerate the effects of the bill or amendments to it to suit their ends. I hope that I will not do that. David Mundell argued that the bill would have all sorts of pernicious consequences and Scott Barrie over-egged the pudding in his description of the effects of section 1A.

The problem is that the hill packs are faced with serious problems because of agreement to amendment 41 and amendment 94's falling. In examining the rest of the bill, I am not convinced that hill packs will be able to continue their activities as effectively as they currently do. Certainly, no member has explained how they will be able to do that.

I agree happily that section 1A(1A) is not the most satisfactory method of allowing hill packs to continue their activities. However, previous amendments that would have been better have been rejected and I suspect that this is almost the final chance to allow legitimate pest control. I would be interested to hear how opponents of the section will allow such methods of pest control to continue. My perception is that, if we accept the amendment, they will not.