Wildlife management in Scotland

Closed 14 Dec 2022

Opened 26 Oct 2022

Feedback updated 18 Apr 2023

We asked

Our Wildlife Management in Scotland consultation sought views on a range of topics related to wildlife management, with sections covering grouse moor licensing, muirburn and matters relating to the use of traps and snares. The purpose of the proposals is to address raptor persecution and ensure that the management of grouse moors and related activities are undertaken in an environmentally sustainable and welfare-conscious manner.

The consultation opened on 26 October 2022 and closed on 14 December 2022.

You said

We received 4,863 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 129 organisations and 4,734 individuals. Respondents included animal welfare organisations, land management organisations, sporting organisations, conservation organisations, pest controllers and public bodies.

Respondents were generally supportive of the proposed introduction of a licensing scheme for grouse shooting, an expansion of the current muirburn licensing scheme, and the further proposed restrictions relating to wildlife traps. Respondents were also supportive of proposed ban on the use of glue traps.

A full analysis of the consultation is available on the Scottish Government website.

We did

The Scottish Government introduced the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill to address raptor persecution and ensure that the management of grouse moors and related activities are undertaken in an environmentally sustainable and welfare conscious manner. The Bill will do this by implementing the recommendations of the independent review of grouse moor management (the “Werritty” review). The Bill contains provisions to:

  • Ban the use and purchase of glue traps and introduce licensing and training requirements for certain other types of wildlife traps;
  • Introduce a licensing regime for land used for the shooting of red grouse;
  • License all muirburn; and
  • Introduce enabling powers to allow the Scottish Ministers to extend the role of inspectors appointed under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 to investigate certain wildlife offence.

More information is available on the Parliament website.


A Stronger & More Resilient Scotland: The Programme for Government 2022-23 which was published on the 8 September 2022 committed to introducing the following Bill:

“Wildlife Management (Grouse)

The Bill will implement the recommendations of the “Werritty Review” and introduce licensing for grouse moor management to ensure that the management of driven grouse moors and related activities is undertaken in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Bill will also include provisions to ban glue traps.”

In November 2020, the Scottish Government published its response to the recommendations made by the Grouse Moor Management Group (“Werritty review”).  That report was commissioned by the Scottish Government in response to a report from NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage), published in May 2017, which found that around a third of satellite-tagged golden eagles in Scotland disappeared in suspicious circumstances, on or around grouse moors.

The Werritty review made over 40 recommendations regarding grouse moor management. The recommendations, which were accepted by the Scottish Government, seek to address raptor persecution and ensure that the management of grouse moors is undertaken in an environmentally sustainable manner.

As well as proposals relating to grouse moor management, this consultaiton also considers glue traps. A report from the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission, published on 23 March 2021 stated that 

“…the animal welfare issues connected with the use of glue traps would justify an immediate outright ban on their sale and use. This is our preferred recommendation.”

This consultation is therefore seeking your views on the Scottish Government's proposals on:

  1. Grouse moor licensing
  2. Muirburn
  3. Trapping
    1. Wildlife Traps
    2. Glue Traps
    3. Snares

You can complete all the sections in the consultation or only those sections which are of interest/relevance to you.

Read the consultation paper

Why your views matter

We would like to hear from those affected by these proposals, including those involved in land management, predator control, those with views on wildlife welfare and enforcement, and those involved in the control of rodents. 

We want to ensure that decisions on any ensuing legislation are made with a sound understanding of the issues and implications.

What happens next

After the consultation closes, we will analyse the responses to inform decisions on any ensuing legislation.


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