Schedule 6 — Protection of Wildlife

Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:30 pm on 5th May 2004.

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Amendments 27 to 29 moved—[Allan Wilson]—and agreed to.

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

Group 11 relates to the prohibition of, and the placing of restrictions on, certain methods of killing or taking wild animals. Amendment 11, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendments 12, 30, 13, 14, 49, 15 and 50.

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

Maureen Macmillan's proposals at stage 2 on drag snares and identification tagging and record keeping for legal snares were helpful and welcome, and I believed that they deserved further careful consideration. Although I indicated then that I was not entirely convinced by the specific wording of the amendments that Maureen Macmillan had lodged, I argued that the underlying ideas had attractions. I want them to be given a wider airing, so it is already my intention to consult on a number of technical issues in relation to snaring. For example, there is an obvious case for requiring a stop or neck block to be fitted on all snares. The existing order-making power in paragraph 10(7) of schedule 6 will allow that to happen.

The intention of amendments 11 to 15 is simply to enable similar potential action to deal with the issues that Maureen Macmillan has raised, if that proves appropriate. However, I want to make it clear at this juncture that no action will be taken on her proposals or on any of the other technical issues until they have been the subject of proper, full, public consultation. Although amendments 11 to 15 will enable possible future action, they do not prejudge the outcome of the consultation. We will welcome all views on implementation.

Amendment 30 seeks to make a minor change that will ensure that there is a "reasonable excuse" defence against the charge of possessing certain types of snare, such as self-locking snares.

I believe that amendments 49 and 50, which Rosemary Byrne lodged, are unnecessary and unduly heavy-handed. I see nothing wrong with the increase in the number of qualified, full-time gamekeepers that amendment 49 proposes; on the contrary, I support that. However, I suspect that Rosemary Byrne's main intention is not to further the interests of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association—although I could be wrong about that. It is not in dispute that, if snares are to be used, they must be set, monitored and maintained in a professional manner. If that is not done, the criminal sanctions that are contained within the bill will bite.

Amendment 50 is simply unnecessary: causing or permitting the use of an illegal snare or other prohibited device is an offence at the moment and the provisions in Rosemary Byrne's amendment would complicate the situation. Incidentally, the provisions of the amendment would also create a technical offence that should be of concern to anyone who is engaged in the sport of archery. The amendment would make it an offence to allow anyone to possess or use a bow, even for competition purposes, it would appear. Similarly, anyone with a net, mirror, sound recording equipment or any mechanically propelled vehicle ought to be worried. I cannot see my colleague Nicol Stephen being particularly happy about the last category.

It is my firm view that the policy that the Executive has adopted on snaring is balanced, rational and effective. The provisions in the bill, together with the additional provisions that are contained in amendments 11 to 15 and amendment 30, are the right way to deal with the issue.

I invite members to support amendment 11 and the other amendments in my name. I ask Rosemary Byrne to give due consideration to my request not to move amendments 49 and 50.

I move amendment 11.

Photo of Ms Rosemary Byrne Ms Rosemary Byrne SSP

As the minister said, I have lodged two similar amendments, which aim to make landowners liable for any snaring offences that are committed on their land. I want to impose a duty that will help to ensure that such offences are avoided.

Although I will focus on amendment 50, which is my preferred amendment, my comments are relevant to both amendments 49 and 50. Amendment 49 has the same objective as amendment 50, but it would achieve it by giving the minister the power to introduce regulations. Unless the minister gives a clear assurance that he will look favourably on such regulations, I intend to press amendment 50.

As all of us know, snaring has been a contentious issue throughout the progress of the bill. At stage 2, I made it clear that my preference was for a ban on snaring. I believe that snares are cruel, unnecessary and indiscriminate. Unfortunately, when Eleanor Scott of the Green party lodged an amendment at stage 2, the amendment was defeated by the Environment and Rural Development Committee. In the absence of a ban, I believe that landowners and occupiers should face responsibility for the snaring offences that are committed on their land. If landowners make a decision to let snares be used on their land, ultimately they should be held responsible for ensuring that the snares are used properly.

Amendment 50 would also protect gamekeepers. There may be a number of gamekeepers who are under pressure from landowners to place too many snares for them to be able to maintain them effectively. All too often, gamekeepers can be pressurised by their employers into employing illegal or suspect predator control techniques to maximise the number of animals that are killed and so protect game birds. My amendments would stop that happening and would put the legal responsibility where it belongs, on the landowner.

Although I do not for a minute suggest that most landowners condone the breaking of the law, it is clear that it does happen. Landowners would be better encouraged to have the law obeyed on their estates if they themselves had a legal duty to see that that is the case.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

I agree with Rosemary Byrne that landowners should be held legally responsible, but what if the snare was set by a poacher?

Photo of Ms Rosemary Byrne Ms Rosemary Byrne SSP

If that was the case, the monitoring process, which will also be used to protect gamekeepers, would record the fact. In such cases, the bill's current provisions would protect landowners and gamekeepers.

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of people on their land and landowners should accept a similar responsibility for wildlife. The injuries to animals that are caused by snaring are often so severe that there should be a positive duty on landowners to ensure that their gamekeepers obey the law.

It is clear that snares can cause both prolonged mental suffering and serious physical injuries to animals. Evidence from Les Stalker of the St Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital showed graphically that snares can cause pressure necrosis, which results when pressure from the snare causes damage to the cells of internal or external tissues. The consequent degeneration of those tissues causes death several days later.

Another problem with snares is their inherently indiscriminate nature. Devices with razor-sharp teeth are used by gamekeepers as part of an apparent drive to target systematically wildlife that is deemed to pose a risk to estates' game bird stocks. I could go on and give more examples, but the Presiding Officer is about to tell me to stop.

As it stands, the law protects bad landowners by shielding them from the consequences of actions that are carried out on their behalf. I say to Margo MacDonald that if my amendments 49 and 50 were agreed to, and there was not enough evidence to prosecute a particular gamekeeper, the landowner would be forced to take responsibility for the actions of his employees.

I ask members to support amendments 49 and 50.

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative 3:45 pm, 5th May 2004

Eight members wish to speak, so I appeal for brevity.

Photo of Eleanor Scott Eleanor Scott Green

I made my views on snaring clear at stage 2, when in effect I proposed a complete ban on snaring. During evidence taking on the bill, the Environment and Rural Development Committee heard powerful and compelling evidence from animal welfare organisations on the cruelty that can be inflicted by snares. We heard that we are one of only five European Union countries that allow snaring—I cannot speak for the new EU countries. We heard that under the Bern convention, to which we are a signatory, snares are supposed to be used only to trap and restrain animals, not kill them, yet we heard from gamekeepers that rabbits in particular are almost always dead when found in snares.

When we went on site visits, we heard from gamekeepers that they are expected to look after and manage huge areas of land, such that one man is doing what six people did a generation ago. We know that they are setting snares in places where they cannot adhere to good practice. We know that the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation have codes of good practice for snaring, but we also know that someone does not have to show that they adhere to those codes of practice to be employed as a gamekeeper. Indeed, people do not need to have any qualifications to be employed to perform gamekeeping duties.

The animals are paying the price and they are suffering. My preference is for a complete ban on snaring. Clearly, that was not supported at stage 2, and I did not expect it to be supported at this stage, which is why I did not lodge an amendment to that effect. However, I will support any amendment that makes the law on snaring more stringent and which increases penalties, enforcement and the animal welfare aspect of an outdated mode of pest control that will not survive the next few decades.

Photo of Nora Radcliffe Nora Radcliffe Liberal Democrat

We spent a lot of time in the committee discussing snaring. I am comfortable with the view that the committee reached that we should retain snaring as one of the options for vermin control, but should take steps to ensure that best practice prevails and that the inevitable suffering is minimised. It is good that we are leaving the door open for further action as we get more information on the topic.

Photo of Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack Labour

The Environment and Rural Development Committee debated snaring extensively at stage 1 and took a range of evidence from many organisations. No one on the committee pretends that the issue is easy, and we did not want to have a fudge or cop-out that made it look like we had a solution when we did not. The issues are difficult.

If we accept the minister's amendments 11, 12, 30, 13, 14 and 15, we will be in the right place, which, as Nora Radcliffe said, is to view snaring as one form of pest control. It is not pleasant, but neither are other forms of pest control, which impact on humans, the environment and animals. There is nothing pleasant about this discussion.

As a committee, we had to make a reasonable judgment on the best way forward. The bill that was presented to us is not the bill that members have in front of them. The bill that is in front of members was amended by us at stage 2.

Margo MacDonald's question to Rosemary Byrne on poaching was not answered adequately. We argued about such issues in depth at the committee. Rosemary Byrne would have benefited had she engaged in those discussions.

The bill is better now. Snaring is not pleasant. We have tried to get better animal welfare standards, and I welcome Allan Wilson's amendments 11, 12, 30, 13, 14 and 15.

One of the most powerful representations that me, Maureen Macmillan and others received was made by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which said that even if we keep snaring, we can do it a lot better than we do it at the moment. We have a huge opportunity to improve best practice.

As Eleanor Scott said, it was apparent from the representations that the committee received that some land managers think that we can do better. For example, the BASC codes provide a way forward. We must ensure that best practice is applied throughout the land management process. The bill can help to deliver that.

I welcome Allan Wilson's amendments and the commitment to consider the detailed representations that Maureen Macmillan made at stage 2 about drag snares, the design of snares and how snares are laid. We have already agreed that snares should be monitored more frequently than they have been in the past to minimise animal suffering. More can be done and the bill provides an opportunity to do it. Members of the committee will agree that the issue is an easy one on which to grandstand, but we must reach a workable solution that promotes animal welfare, which the bill will do. I encourage the minister to take on board the comments that Maureen Macmillan and others made at stage 2.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

I accept the member's explanation of why the bill allows for a form of snaring and I support that. However, she talked about the need for enforcement. Is the implication that much more resource will have to be committed to implement the proposals?

Photo of Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack Labour

Two sets of resources need to be applied. One concerns land managers. We hope that the bill and the new framework will raise standards of practice among land mangers and will make people think carefully about laying snares if they do not have the time to monitor them properly. That is a key issue. The other set of resources is those that will come from the bill's wildlife crime provisions. The committee argued that police resources should be applied in a focused way. Margo MacDonald is right that resources will be required, but part of the issue is about improving best practice and raising standards. Simply passing the bill will not achieve that; follow-up discussions will be required. Those discussions can take place when the subordinate legislation that may come about as a result of Allan Wilson's amendments is considered.

Photo of Alex Johnstone Alex Johnstone Conservative

Opposition to snaring is not limited to one group of members; members from all parties in the chamber are opposed to it. The Environment and Rural Development Committee entered into heavy deliberations on snaring during stage 1 and in considering the proposed amendments on the issue at stage 2. In the current context, we need to ensure that snaring is available as a pest control measure in certain circumstances in Scotland. For that reason, it is important that we retain the practice. We must recognise that the bill as introduced contained significant regulation of snaring that will vastly improve the circumstances in which snares will be used, and that the committee introduced further measures that will ensure that snaring is carried out only in a heavily regulated form. The minister has granted the concession that he will continue to consider the matter. For that reason, I will support his amendments.

Amendments 49 and 50 would impose an unreasonable requirement on landowners. The people who set snares should always be primarily responsible for the snares that they set. For that reason, I will not support amendments 49 and 50. After long deliberation, the committee arrived at a reasonable solution for the present. In future, the Parliament and the committee—or subsequent committees—will consider the issue further, but the bill, with the minister's amendments, provides a reasonable compromise for today.

Photo of Margaret Ewing Margaret Ewing Scottish National Party

I rise to speak against amendments 49 and 50 and to thank the minister for the hard work that has been undertaken on his amendments and for the future work that will be done to ensure that the best possible code of practice is introduced.

As members have said, the subject is difficult. It may horrify members to know that, as a child, I set snares. That was part of country life and a natural way of keeping down vermin, particularly rabbits, which destroy crops. It does not matter whether the crops are organic, non-organic or some other form—rabbits eat them. Snaring was a legal way of controlling rabbits, and a responsible landowner would tell the gamekeeper, the farm worker or the orraman that snares had to be checked at least once daily.

Members who want to outlaw snaring totally raise the prospect of bringing back diseases such as myxomatosis that were used to control pests. It is a lot crueller to kill rabbits with myxomatosis than it ever is to catch them in snares.

I say to Rosemary Byrne that catching landlords snaring will not end poaching. Anyone who knows anything about snaring knows exactly where the snares should have been placed, so it is possible to detect when poachers have been operating on the land; the difficulty is catching them at it.

It is argued that not enough people work in the countryside to continue snaring, but I say that that is a strong argument for bringing back more people to be employed in the countryside. The people who work there are the real guardians of our environment.

Photo of Maureen Macmillan Maureen Macmillan Labour

I thank the minister for lodging amendments 11 to 15, because the amendments that I lodged at stage 2, which were not agreed to, had a lot of merit. I point out to the minister that those stage 2 amendments were supported not only by the SSPCA but, for the most part, by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and other countryside organisations, so, on the whole, they were not contentious. I am also pleased that the minister will consult further on the provisions that his amendments 11 to 15 will enable so that we may have snaring that is regulated as closely as possible so that snares are used as humanely as possible.

Margo MacDonald asked about the cost of some of the measures. I point out to her that one of the measures that I suggested was that snares should have identity tags. That would probably cost about 7p per snare, which is not a lot of money for an estate to fork out, but it would have helped with record keeping and would have helped us to find out whether snares were genuinely being set by estate workers or being set by poachers.

The ban on snaring that Eleanor Scott proposed at stage 2 was overwhelmingly defeated. That is because everybody else in the committee realised that snaring was necessary to control vermin in the countryside and that the alternatives—such as gassing, which has human health implications—were no more pleasant.

I thank the minister for taking my suggestions on board. I hope to see them come before the Parliament as regulations soon.

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I welcome the work that the committee carried out, particularly its rejection of those who have argued for an outright ban on the use of snares. I also welcome the balanced approach that we have heard from those committee members who acknowledge that snares are needed.

Last summer, I was happy to attend the Moy game fair, at which the SGA launched its code of conduct on snaring practice. Anyone who has read that code will see that the gamekeepers are determined to ensure that best practice is followed within and outwith their organisation. I hope that the minister will consult the SGA fully on amendment 14, because I have a slight concern about it. It states that there will be a code on snaring and that breach of that code will be a criminal offence. Ministers who are familiar with this area of the law will recognise the caution that we need to apply when we create new criminal offences, particularly on highly sensitive issues. I hope that members recognise that the best way to ensure the end of the inappropriate and cruel use of snares is by education.

Instead of attacking gamekeepers, as the Scottish Socialist Party and the Greens have done by proposing a ban, we should value the contribution that they make as the real custodians of the countryside, because, unlike us, they are not talking about looking after wildlife; they do it day in, day out and year in, year out. Gamekeepers manage wildlife, and they know what they are doing. We must be very careful about assuming that we know better than they do. Instead of taking that approach, we should value the work that they do.

I welcome the approach that the Environment and Rural Development Committee has taken, but I ask the minister to take the greatest care in the preparation of the forthcoming code. We should tread very warily indeed in this territory. Gamekeepers already feel victimised by many measures that the Parliament has taken and we should not add to their misery.

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour 4:00 pm, 5th May 2004

I will deal with the last point first. I am grateful for the support that has come from most parts of the chamber on this issue, and I give an assurance that the consultation that I propose will, as ever, be wide ranging. It will be designed to secure a consensus on future progress on the matter, not just in the chamber but in the country.

For clarity, amendment 12 makes it an offence to set in position or otherwise use a snare of a

"type specified in an order made by the Scottish Ministers."

That is in addition to the existing offence of using a self-locking snare. I point out to Rosemary Byrne that the intention behind the consultation is to give ministers sufficient powers, if necessary and depending on the outcome of that consultation and on other considerations, prospectively to ban other methods of land management that are deemed to be cruel or unnecessary.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

Does the minister have any indication of the number of prosecutions that might be expected under the proposed new legislation, or of the amount of resource, roughly speaking, that would need to be committed to implementing it?

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

As I was saying, we will consult on any future proposals for technical specifications relating to snaring. Like Sarah Boyack, I do not think that Rosemary Byrne answered Margo MacDonald's question about poachers. Amendment 49 would allow ministers to require, by order, the owner or occupier of any land where snaring was permitted to employ a qualified gamekeeper to operate, monitor and maintain snares, which would obviously require a substantial financial commitment. Of itself, that proposal is not a bad thing, but it implies a misconception that all land is held in vast holdings and that it is possible to employ people of the required specification to undertake the snaring. It ignores the fact that much snaring is done by ordinary farmers and crofters—those who work the land. It is not our intention to turn those people into criminals. We accept that snaring is a necessary part of proper land management techniques.

Without overstating it, the bill already makes it an offence not only to misuse snares and other devices, such as crossbows, to which Rosemary Byrne has referred; it also addresses the setting of illegal snares and the illegal use of other devices. It would be unfair and unreasonable in the extreme to make the land manager, land occupier or landowner responsible for the illegal setting of snares of which he or she would otherwise be unaware. That is an unreasonable proposal.

In the interests of securing the broad consensus that I seek, both in the chamber and in the country, and given my assurances, I ask Rosemary Byrne not to press her amendments.

Amendment 11 agreed to.

Amendments 12, 30, 13 and 14 moved—[Allan Wilson]—and agreed to.

Amendment 49 moved—[Ms Rosemary Byrne].

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

The question is, that amendment 49 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 4

For: Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Byrne, Ms Rosemary, Canavan, Dennis, Curran, Frances, Fox, Colin, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Kane, Rosie, Leckie, Carolyn, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Sheridan, Tommy
Against: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Ms Margaret, Davidson, Mr David, Deacon, Susan, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Ferguson, Patricia, Fergusson, Alex, Finnie, Ross, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Gorrie, Donald, Grahame, Christine, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Johnstone, Alex, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Lochhead, Richard, Lyon, George, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, MacDonald, Margo, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, Mather, Jim, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McFee, Mr Bruce, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morgan, Alasdair, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Mundell, David, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Neil, Alex, Oldfather, Irene, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robison, Shona, Rumbles, Mike, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinburne, John, Turner, Dr Jean, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

The result of the division is: For 14, Against 101, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 49 disagreed to.

Amendment 15 moved—[Allan Wilson]—and agreed to.

Amendment 50 moved—[Ms Rosemary Byrne].

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

The question is, that amendment 50 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 5

For: Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Byrne, Ms Rosemary, Canavan, Dennis, Curran, Frances, Fox, Colin, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Kane, Rosie, Leckie, Carolyn, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Sheridan, Tommy
Against: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Ms Margaret, Davidson, Mr David, Deacon, Susan, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Ferguson, Patricia, Fergusson, Alex, Finnie, Ross, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Gorrie, Donald, Grahame, Christine, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Johnstone, Alex, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Lochhead, Richard, Lyon, George, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, MacDonald, Margo, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, Mather, Jim, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McFee, Mr Bruce, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morgan, Alasdair, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Mundell, David, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Neil, Alex, Oldfather, Irene, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robison, Shona, Rumbles, Mike, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinburne, John, Turner, Dr Jean, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Brown, Robert

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

The result of the division is: For 14, Against 100, Abstentions 1.

Amendment 50 disagreed to.

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

We come to group 12, on non-native species. Amendment 35, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendments 36 to 44.

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

I undertook at stage 2 to come back at stage 3 with a response to amendment 241, in the name of Mark Ruskell, which dealt with the sale of invasive and damaging non-native species. Amendment 35 fulfils that commitment and provides additional powers to regulate the sale of particularly undesirable non-native species. It would make it an offence to sell, offer or expose for sale or possess or transport for the purposes of selling any species that ministers specify by order. The new mechanism will complement other existing prohibitory regimes, such as mink-keeping orders and fishery regulations and it will allow ministers to prohibit the sale of species of non-native animals or plants that they consider to be a significant threat to the environment.

I make it clear that any proposed order would be subject to detailed prior consultation and that species will not be listed without our giving interested parties a proper opportunity to make their views known about whether those species should be included. That commitment would of course be backed up in statute. Consultation is a legal requirement imposed by section 26 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Amendments 36 to 44 are all consequential on that basic proposal. I am grateful to Mark Ruskell for making that constructive proposal at stage 2. I invite support for amendment 35 and the other amendments in the group.

I move amendment 35.

Photo of Mr Mark Ruskell Mr Mark Ruskell Green

I welcome the minister's amendments, which he has lodged in response to my stage 2 amendment on non-native invasive plant species. Contrary to rumour, that was not an attempt by the Greens to pull a sneaky one on genetically modified crops, although if I had thought of that at the time, I might have suggested something. The damage that invasive plants do to our ecology is costly. I was a conservation volunteer in my teenage years and much of the work that I undertook to improve important habitats such as ponds and woodlands involved the often laborious job of removing non-native plants that had swamped the ecology of an area.

Prevention is desirable and will in the long run save millions of pounds of public money. I welcome the commitment to extend the list of target species and the rapid consultation on the list that the Executive undertook after stage 2. I also welcome the commitment to ban the sale of the target species. That move is supported by the gardening trade and should prevent more garden escapees from compounding the problems.

I welcome the amendments, which I hope will allow us to avoid future problems, but I would like to hear from the minister what measures the Executive is taking to tackle the sizeable problems now, as he has not seen fit to extend SNH's powers to tackle the issue under the bill.

Photo of Nora Radcliffe Nora Radcliffe Liberal Democrat

I welcome the Executive's fulfilment of a commitment that was given at stage 2 and the fact that it is opening up further properly considered measures through secondary legislation.

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

One brief point arose from those comments. As Mark Ruskell knows, our consultation runs until 30 June and is based on the suggested list of non-native species to which he referred in March. Decisions on the addition of species to schedule 9 to the 1981 act will be made in the light of responses to the consultation. If making additions proves appropriate, such changes will be effected by statutory instrument under the existing legislative mechanisms in the 1981 act.

I hope that with those assurances, we can all support amendment 35.

Amendment 35 agreed to.

[Amendment 36 moved—[Allan Wilson]—and agreed to.]

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

Group 13 is on the protection of racing pigeons. Amendment 31, in the name of Alex Neil, is the only amendment in the group.

Photo of Alex Neil Alex Neil Scottish National Party

The racing-pigeon sport is historic and has been important in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Dennis Canavan will be glad to know that Her Majesty the Queen is a pigeon fancier. I hope that that will influence the Tory vote on the amendment—I am a traditional crawler.

The racing-pigeon industry and sport have a real problem in predation by raptors. Amendment 31 is designed to deal with just one aspect of the problem—attacks by sparrow-hawks on pigeons in lofts. Other problems arise in flight not only from sparrow-hawks but from peregrines, but the amendment is meant to break the back of one problem.

I will say what the proposal is not and deal with some of the propaganda from the RSPB, which is the royal society for the protection of some birds and not others. I want to protect birds of all types, including the pigeon and the raptor. The pigeon men are not in favour of a cull of raptors. We want a proper and rational approach to the problem.

The amendment's purpose is to build into the bill the right of the pigeon fancier—the racing-pigeon owner—to protect their birds in the same way as other people protect their birds. Some people might say that deterrence is the way to deal with the problem. For the past 30 years, every known form of deterrent has been tried and has failed. There is no known long-term effective deterrent for the problem. Were such a deterrent available, pigeon fanciers would be happy to employ it. Their purpose is not to attack sparrow-hawks but to defend the pigeons in their lofts.

Members will have seen photographs of some of the worst effects of attacks on pigeons. I do not think that anyone who cares about nature and about all birds can be other than disturbed by some of those photographs.

I want to refer to a study that has just been completed. I chaired a working party involving the Scottish Homing Union and the SNH. The conclusions of that study, which was not carried out in the best way, have again been deliberately misinterpreted and spun by certain people. The problem is not that 50 per cent of the pigeon population is attacked and killed by sparrow-hawks every year. There are concentrations around particular lofts and there are mass—often repeated—attacks on lofts by sparrow-hawks. Therefore, if the amendment is agreed to, it would not result in a massive cull of sparrow-hawks, but would allow the pigeon fancier to deal, under licence—I emphasise that—with the problem of rogue sparrow-hawks that continually attack the lofts of fanciers. That means that we could attack the problem without any significant impact on the sparrow-hawk population.

I know that some people laugh at the issue and that many people regard it as a fairly peripheral issue, but it should be remembered that many pigeon fanciers—of whom there are many thousands in Scotland—have invested a fair amount of their money in their sport and are entitled to their sport in the same way that everyone else is entitled to theirs. They also raise a great deal of money for charity.

Therefore, I say to members that they should take the issue seriously and save the sport of racing pigeons from possible extinction within the next 10 years.

I move amendment 31.

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour 4:15 pm, 5th May 2004

I want to call a significant number of back benchers, so I ask members to be brief.

Photo of Annabel Goldie Annabel Goldie Conservative

I am not usually minded to support Alex Neil in anything, but today we find ourselves bonded by racing pigeons. I should explain that the Conservative group—again, with commendable democracy—is having a free vote on the issue.

I am a member of the RSPB and a supporter of the protection of raptors. In Scotland, there are around 12 species of raptor, of which 10 are certainly vulnerable. However, sparrow-hawks enjoy a robust presence, with an estimated 34,500 pairs in the UK. That number is exceeded by the number of kestrels, of which there are estimated to be 100,000 pairs in the UK.

I have three reasons for arguing that, to protect racing pigeons, protection for sparrow-hawks—and only sparrow-hawks—should be waived, as the amendment suggests. First, there is no question but that the sparrow-hawk is a threat to racing pigeons—it is the Exocet missile of the ornithological world and pursues other birds in flight, unlike the kestrel, which will tend to eat voles and insects. Secondly, the racing pigeon is not like other feral birds. It is domesticated and trained to return to lofts. That might reassure people who think that some precedent might be set. However, those two reasons would not be sufficient for me. The third reason is that the sparrow-hawk enjoys a sufficiently sustainable population not to be at threat from such a limited removal of protection. Again, a precedent would not be set.

My colleague Mr McLetchie was worried that a pigeon fancier might confuse a peregrine falcon with a sparrow-hawk and trap the wrong bird. That would be difficult. The peregrine is bigger and has a white face with big black moustaches, so that would be like confusing Groucho Marx with Jasper Carrot.

I support Mr Neil's amendment.

Photo of Eleanor Scott Eleanor Scott Green

I rise to urge members not to agree to amendment 31.

Members will have received the briefing from RSPB Scotland. The research that the Central Science Laboratory carried out into the impact of birds of prey on racing pigeons had nothing to do with RSPB Scotland. The RSBP Scotland briefing states that the CSL found that

"Over half of all pigeon lofts reported no losses of pigeons to sparrowhawks. Less than 1% of all substantiated, probable and possible pigeon losses are attributed annually to sparrowhawks."

The briefing states:

"The results broadly reflect previous research across the UK on this subject, which has shown that sparrowhawk impacts on racing pigeons are very low when compared to other factors such as straying, bad weather, domestic cats and collisions ... The current scientific evidence suggests that sparrowhawks are a negligible problem in comparison with these other factors."

There are issues for particular lofts that are situated in wooded areas, where there is cover for sparrow-hawks and where sparrow-hawks hunt, but that is no reason to cull sparrow-hawks. If we reduce the number of sparrow-hawks, we could end up simply with fewer sparrow-hawks.

Photo of Phil Gallie Phil Gallie Conservative

If the problem with sparrow-hawks is so minimal, why is Eleanor Scott resisting amendment 31, which simply addresses a specific instance where they are a threat?

Photo of Eleanor Scott Eleanor Scott Green

Birds of prey are protected because they are particularly vulnerable. That protection should not be lifted without good reasons. I do not think that the study that the Scottish Homing Union was party to commissioning, the results of which it has now rejected, gives evidence to suggest that we would be justified in removing that protection from these specific raptors.

Photo of Sylvia Jackson Sylvia Jackson Labour

I will be brief, as most of what I wanted to say has been said by Eleanor Scott. I am an RSPB member—that may not go down terribly well, following what Alex Neil said. We must address the issues that are raised in the scientific report. I acknowledge the concerns of the Scottish Homing Union—everything that Alex Neil said about the injuries to pigeons is a live issue—and I have asked it to attend the next meeting of the cross-party group in the Scottish Parliament on animal welfare, so that we can take the matter further. However, as Eleanor Scott said, we must go with the scientific evidence that we have from the report. In reply to Phil Gallie's question, we cannot go further and agree to amendment 31 if we do not have the evidence in front of us that sparrow-hawks are harming racing pigeons. Therefore, I think that we have to go cautiously.

Photo of Alasdair Morgan Alasdair Morgan Scottish National Party

This is not something on which I have made up my mind either way at the moment, but I understand that amendment 31 would allow Scottish ministers to issue licences to allow trapping to take place only in specific places. I presume that Scottish ministers would issue a licence for a specific place only if there were evidence of a specific problem.

Photo of Sylvia Jackson Sylvia Jackson Labour

At the moment, there are other routes that we can go down. The RSPB has suggested that there are non-lethal solutions to deal with predation that are based on deterrent methods, loft siting, habitat management around the loft and race routing. There are many ways in which we can address the problem before we go down the route of trapping.

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

As Annabel Goldie has pointed out, with a population of 34,500 pairs, the sparrow-hawk is not a rare bird that is under pressure. Eleanor Scott is quite wrong to suggest that amendment 31 calls for a cull. It does nothing of the kind, and it is important that that should be clearly understood by those who, like Alasdair Morgan, are interested in listening to the arguments.

Photo of Carolyn Leckie Carolyn Leckie SSP

Can Fergus Ewing say how many pigeons there are? The number of sparrow-hawks seems to be relevant, but how many pigeons are there?

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I would not like to see one pigeon with its neck bitten off, as we have seen. I would not like to see one pigeon suffer unnecessary cruelty because there is no legal possibility of obtaining a Larsen trap—not to kill the raptor, but to trap it and then liberate it. That is what the trap is for—it is not about killing raptors.

Photo of Brian Adam Brian Adam Scottish National Party

Can Mr Ewing please tell us how many sparrow-hawks are being killed by the pigeons?

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

Eleanor Scott. [ Interruption. ] Sorry. Shiona Baird. [ Interruption. ] Order. I made a mistake. We all make mistakes.

Photo of Shiona Baird Shiona Baird Green

Can Fergus Ewing explain how a sparrow-hawk can be trapped by a Larsen trap?

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I think that everyone has woken up, Presiding Officer.

The Scottish Homing Union says that deterrents simply do not work. That is a serious point because the allegation has been made that they do work. They do not work, but if they did, they could be used in conjunction with the appropriate type of trap, and there would be no problem; the sparrow-hawk would fly away, no doubt to some other pigeon. The trap could then be used.

Pleasant though this is, all good things must come to a close. It is odd that, to paraphrase George Orwell, all birds are equal, but some are more equal than others. I will play no part in the propagation by the RSPB and others of a form of avian apartheid.

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

I am tempted to quote Shakespeare because all this is much ado about nothing.

I invite Alex Neil to withdraw amendment 31. He knew that I would do that because we have discussed the issue for the best part of three—probably four—years; perhaps it has been longer. As Alasdair Morgan suggested during the debate, the existing powers in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 already allow licences to be granted for that purpose.

Photo of Annabel Goldie Annabel Goldie Conservative

How many licences have been granted?

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

Before any licence is granted for curtailment of any species predating on another, there has to be sound scientific reasons for granting it. As she is a reasonable member of the Parliament, I am sure that Annabel Goldie will accept the logic inherent in that position.

In front of me, I have the most recent report on this very emotive issue. I understand that it raises strong feelings on both sides of the argument. When I discussed the issue at the committee, it agreed that the findings of the scientific work being carried out by the CSL should inform its further consideration of the topic. The CSL's report has been published and I praise the Scottish Homing Union and SNH for working with the CSL to produce it. Alex Neil's role in that process is to his great credit.

I am also well aware that the Scottish Homing Union is disappointed with elements of the report's findings. I am not one of those who is spinning the outcome. I acknowledge that the report shows that some of the Scottish Homing Union's earlier concerns about predation of pigeons by raptors, to which Alex Neil referred, are well founded in certain parts of Scotland.

Alex Neil has met me and my officials and we have considered the matter long and hard during the two weeks since the report was published. I am satisfied that the 1981 act contains the powers that Alex Neil is seeking. I can confirm that the Executive will consider a licence application from any racing pigeon fancier who can prove that his birds are being killed by sparrow-hawks. The existing tests that the Executive uses for other licence applications will also be employed. There must be clear evidence that sparrow-hawks are causing the death of the owner's pigeons. The owner must be able to demonstrate that there is no alternative to deter sparrow-hawks from his loft area. As with all other licence applications, we will also have to consider the numbers of sparrow-hawks being considered for control and take into account their current population.

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

In short, I am not asking pigeon fanciers to jump over any additional hurdles. It is all there in the existing legislation.

On that basis, and with that unequivocal statement, I invite Alex Neil—and I am sure that he will see the wisdom in my invitation—to withdraw amendment 31, so that the matter can be dealt with in the manner that I have described.

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The question is, that amendment 31 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 6

For: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Canavan, Dennis, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Gorrie, Donald, Grahame, Christine, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Johnstone, Alex, MacDonald, Margo, McFee, Mr Bruce, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Neil, Alex, Sheridan, Tommy, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinburne, John, Tosh, Murray, Turner, Dr Jean, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baird, Shiona, Baker, Richard, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Frances, Curran, Ms Margaret, Davidson, Mr David, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Fox, Colin, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kane, Rosie, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Leckie, Carolyn, Lochhead, Richard, Lyon, George, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, Mather, Jim, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Morgan, Alasdair, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robison, Shona, Rumbles, Mike, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, Eleanor, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Sturgeon, Nicola, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Byrne, Ms Rosemary

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The result of the division is: For 30, Against 87, Abstentions 1.

Amendment 31 disagreed to.

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

If no member objects to a single question being put on amendments 37, 16 and 38 to 42, I ask the minister to move them en bloc.

Amendments 37, 16 and 38 to 42 moved—[Allan Wilson]—and agreed to.

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

Amendment 51, in the name of Roseanna Cunningham, is grouped with amendments 52 to 54. You have one minute.

Photo of Roseanna Cunningham Roseanna Cunningham Scottish National Party

I will be brief. Amendments 51 and 52 would mean that all wildlife offences would be dealt with in the same way—it would be a matter for the procurator fiscal and/or the court as to whether they were taken on indictment or on a summary complaint. That is already the case in some respects; all we want to do is to spread that provision to cover all such offences.

Amendments 53 and 54 would allow the procurator fiscal to take into consideration financial costs as well as conservation impacts—for example, a small fine might be seen simply as a running cost for those who steal falcon chicks to sell to the middle east. That ought to be taken into consideration when we look at penalties. Although killing a white-tailed eagle and killing a blackbird are both considered to be offences in the bill, one is far more serious than the other. Although the Procurator Fiscal Service can deal with such considerations at present, it does not always do so, and we believe that it should be told that it must. I am afraid that I gabbled my comments.

I move amendment 51.

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

There is no time for the minister to speak. Are you for or against amendment 51?

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The question is, that amendment 51 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 7

For: Adam, Brian, Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Byrne, Ms Rosemary, Canavan, Dennis, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Frances, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fox, Colin, Gibson, Rob, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Kane, Rosie, Leckie, Carolyn, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, MacDonald, Margo, Mather, Jim, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, McFee, Mr Bruce, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Robison, Shona, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Sheridan, Tommy, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinburne, John, Turner, Dr Jean, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra
Against: Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Davidson, Mr David, Deacon, Susan, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Fergusson, Alex, Finnie, Ross, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Johnstone, Alex, Lamont, Johann, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Mundell, David, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Rumbles, Mike, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Tosh, Murray, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The result of the division is: For 37, Against 78, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 51 disagreed to.

Amendment 43 moved—[Allan Wilson]—and agreed to.

Amendment 52 not moved.

Amendment 44 moved—[Allan Wilson]—and agreed to.

Amendment 53 moved—[Roseanna Cunningham].

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The question is, that amendment 53 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 8

For: Adam, Brian, Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Canavan, Dennis, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Frances, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Gibson, Rob, Grahame, Christine, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Leckie, Carolyn, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Mather, Jim, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, McFee, Mr Bruce, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Robison, Shona, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Turner, Dr Jean, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra
Against: Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Byrne, Ms Rosemary, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Davidson, Mr David, Deacon, Susan, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Fergusson, Alex, Finnie, Ross, Fox, Colin, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Johnstone, Alex, Lamont, Johann, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Mundell, David, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Rumbles, Mike, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Sheridan, Tommy, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Tosh, Murray, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: MacDonald, Margo, Swinburne, John

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The result of the division is: For 32, Against 81, Abstentions 2.

Amendment 53 disagreed to.

Amendment 54 not moved.

Amendment 32 moved—[Allan Wilson]—and agreed to.

Amendment 33 moved—[Allan Wilson].

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

I ask Alex Fergusson to indicate whether he wishes to move amendment 33A.

Photo of Alex Fergusson Alex Fergusson Conservative

For the sake of the barn owl, I will move amendment 33A.

Amendment 33A moved—[Alex Fergusson].

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The question is, that amendment 33A be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 9

For: Aitken, Bill, Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Byrne, Ms Rosemary, Canavan, Dennis, Curran, Frances, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fox, Colin, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Johnstone, Alex, Kane, Rosie, Leckie, Carolyn, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McLetchie, David, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, Eleanor, Scott, John, Sheridan, Tommy, Tosh, Murray
Against: Adam, Brian, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Gibson, Rob, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Gorrie, Donald, Grahame, Christine, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Lamont, Johann, Lochhead, Richard, Lyon, George, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, MacDonald, Margo, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, Mather, Jim, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McFee, Mr Bruce, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Morgan, Alasdair, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Neil, Alex, Oldfather, Irene, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robison, Shona, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinburne, John, Turner, Dr Jean, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The result of the division is: For 32, Against 84, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 33A disagreed to.

Amendment 33 agreed to.

[Amendment 34 moved—[Allan Wilson]—and agreed to.]

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

That ends the consideration of amendments.