Page last updated at 19:13 GMT, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Wildlife bill amendments

Amendments to the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill were voted on at its last stage of parliamentary scrutiny on 2 March 2010.

MSPs rejected a controversial amendment put forward by Labour's Irene Oldfather for an outright ban on snaring, by 72 votes to 50.

Ms Oldfather said "Scotland should treat its beautiful wild animals with respect and accept once and for all that killing them in wire nooses is a technique which must be consigned to the dustbin of history."

But Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham rebutted "Predator control is something that most of us do not like to contemplate but it is a reality and a necessary element of responsible countryside management."

A government amendment tabled by the environment minister, obliging Scottish ministers to provide parliament with annual reports on wildlife crime, was unanimously agreed to.

She said the reports should go further than gathering a short set of statistics on crimes and prosecutions: "Relevant and timely research that provides context and advice that provides direction to all those involved in prevention, investigation and prosecution of wildlife crime would be a welcome inclusion."

However, an amendment by Labour's Elaine Murray to bring forward a review into the new regulations being created today, fell.

Instead, MSPs voted in favour of SNP Bill Wilson's amendment which recommended a review start from 2016 onwards.

His amendment is in keeping with the timetable previously agreed to by the environment minister, Roseanna Cunningham.

The minister said Ms Murray's proposal did not allow enough time "to gather proper data and research and that was also the lead committee's advice on this."

The wide range of amendments tried to tackle some of the following areas: modernising game law, improving snaring practice, changing the licensing system for protected species, amending current arrangements for deer management and deer stalking and strengthening protection of badgers.


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