Thank you for emailing Nicola Sturgeon (2)

Yesterday evening we sent out a newsletter asking our supporters to email Nicola Sturgeon about the scale of wildlife crime in Scotland, exemplified by the poisoning of this young White-tailed Eagle that was found on a grouse moor inside the Cairngorms National Park.

Poisoned White-tailed Eagle. Photo: Police Scotland

The response has been amazing so we thought we’d post a few examples here. This is the second tranche of examples.

Have a look at the examples below and please add your own voice. Tell Ms Sturgeon how you felt when you saw the image above. Ask her to act now. You don’t have to send a long email, or a clever email, or a learned email – just speak from the heart. And you don’t have to be Scottish or to live in Scotland.

If you are prepared to send a polite, but firm, email to Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, then this is her email address;

Thank you!

Ladies, I know your inboxes are full and getting fuller so I will be brief; Prompted by the recent poisoning of a white-tailed eagle in the Cairngorms National Park I note; 1) That none of the measures put in place to protect Scotland’s birds of prey seems to have any effect 2) No one has ever been convicted of killing an eagle in Scotland 3) Satellite-tagged eagles can be killed with impunity right up to the Edinburgh bypass 4) The Werritty Review’s outcome of a five year period of self-regulation is infuriating and futile 5) Your party appears not to have the stomach to take on serious, organised crime by landed interests in Scotland 6) Indeed your appointment of Richard Scott’s financial adviser Benny Higgins (a former colleague of mine) as an economic advisor suggests the opposite – that you regard these people as trustworthy or reputable in some way 7) Lots of people (including me) are extremely angry about your hand-wringing and inaction 8) I expect action from you. Driven grouse shooting is a moral disgrace, drives out productive land use, wrecks our uplands and depends on rampant criminality. It needs to be banned right now. 9) The Cairngorms National Park should either become an actual nation park with no sport shooting or it should come to an end. If it has no power to tackle this carnage there’s little point in it existing. Thanks for reading,

Dear First Minister, I wanted to let you know how sickened and saddened I am to learn that yet another satellite-tagged bird of prey has been found dead in Scotland. I believe this bird was poisoned – a particularly horrible way to die, and one which puts other wildlife, dogs and even humans at risk. It would seem that Scotland has a problem with out of control game-keepers, who persecute and kill our precious and beleaguered wildlife to protect the interests of a few wealthy land owners who make their money through grouse shooting – itself a frankly disgusting waste of life for a few seconds ‘fun’. Although I live just over the border in Cumbria, and have family in Edinburgh, I am increasingly reluctant to spend any time in the Scottish countryside for fear of what I may witness in terms of wildlife persecution, be it dead and dying birds of prey, shot or beaten beavers, or the mass slaughter of mountain hares. At a time when the world is facing the very real threat of ecological collapse, and when it has never been clearer that we need to radically change our relationship with nature if we are to survive, I urge you, please, to address the wholesale persecution of wildlife in your country, and work towards making Scotland a land rich in wildlife and biodiversity. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to do no less. Kind regards,

Dear – – – – – –  It is with a heavy heart and, indeed, tears in my eyes that I find myself appealing to you for action by the Scottish Government. Yet again, I am reading of another hideous wildlife crime perpetrated in a grouse-shooting area in Scotland. I am also conscious of the fact that the Government response to this particular incident seems to be platitudes that ‘the law will be upheld’ and ‘penalties have been increased’ – attitudes that seem meaningless when not a single wildlife crime has yet resulted in a conviction, other than for possession of illegal substances. My wife and  I have been visiting Scotland once or twice a year for the past ten years. We’ve mainly stayed in Grantown on Spey and, for the past four years, I have led groups and given talks there – sadly, not this year, due to Covid-19. I have often wondered why, when I am passing through the Strathdon area on my way to and from Grantown, I have not seen raptors, as it would appear to be ideal habitat – I now know why! This whole raptor persecution business has got out of hand and it seems to me that the perpetrators are ramping up their efforts in defiance of the authorities. Controls are not working and so I believe that it is time that the antiquated and barbaric pastime of shooting living things for pleasure should be stopped for all time. Much as we think that the Scottish Highlands is one of the finest places on earth for scenery and wildlife, We are increasingly finding that the depressing situation with wildlife crime, plus the slaughter of Mountain Hares and other abhorrent practices involving wildlife , is cancelling out the joy of being there. Until the situation improves, sadly, we have no intention to return to the Scottish Highlands. Please, please, please take action! 

Dear First Minister, The dead White-tailed Eagle in the photograph below was discovered by scientists who had been tracking it via its satellite tag. It had been poisoned, and will have suffered horribly. The dead bird was discovered in an area of grouse moors in Strathdon, which is within the Cairngorms National Park. The White-tailed Eagle was, as you will know, almost rendered extinct in the 20th century because of illegal killings, which makes this poisoning even more appalling. I wonder whether the First Minister shares my disgust at this wildlife crime, likely to have been committed by someone working within the lucrative driven grouse shooting “sport”. I also wonder whether you agree that cruel and needless killings like these badly tarnish the image of Scotland. If so, I ask you to ban driven grouse shooting to remove the motivation to kill White-tailed Eagles and other birds of prey. If the First Minister feels unable to do that, I should be grateful to know why, and what steps would be taken instead to put an end to such wildlife crimes.

Dear First Minister,Whilst I live in England, I have many friends and relatives in Scotland and have visited on many occasions, so I would, first of all like to thank you for the good work you have been doing to protect them during the covid-19 crisis. I am, of course, disappointed that I was unable to visit as planned earlier this summer, but fully understand why and hope to visit again now things are improving. A major attraction for me has been the wildlife and, in particular the magnificent Birds of Prey that make Scotland their home, if only for the breeding season. So, you can probably imagine my disappointed and anger at the continued persecution of these magnificent birds. This has been brought into focus in the last few days by the reported poisoning oa White-tailed Eagle within the Cairngorms National Park. You don’t need me to tell you the value of these birds to the Scottish economy since their re-introduction over the past 20 years or so. They have become an iconic symbol of Wildlife tourism. But, it is becoming increasingly evident that the perpetrators of this criminal activities, and their employers, are making no attempt to curtail their activities despite discussions on how to end the persecution have been ongoing for several years. They seem to be incapable or unwilling to ‘self-regulate’, so legislative action is now the only course of action. The Werritty review has made its recommendations, so I think it is time for action. I appreciate how busy you are with the aforementioned crisis, but wonder if you could find the time to instigate proceedings to regulate the Driven Grouse Shooting Industry, at least through licensing or better still banning. The latter would have the added benefit of providing an opportunity to restore the moors to a more environmentally friendly state. Such action I believe, would be of considerable benefit to the Scottish economy through increased.Eco-tourism. May I thank you in advance for your kind attention.
PS. thank you for been such a good sport in relation to Janey Godley’s videos.

Dear First Minister and Cabinet Secretary,
I live in England but every year I spend my holidays (and money) in Scotland because I love the nature and wildlife of Scotland. It breaks my heart to see that one more beautiful and rare bird of prey you are so privileged to have in Scotland has been illegally killed. Do you understand how privileged you are to have such magnificent birds flying in your skies? And even if it wasn’t a beautiful bird, surely illegal practices of any sort should be stopped immediately? Why are they allowed to continue at the detriment of nature and all the people who love and enjoy it? For the economic gain of a small (already rich) minority who continuously burn and ruin the countryside killing anything that they don’t like (mountain hares, for example)? Why do you still allow this destruction of your beautiful country to continue?
I hope you will answer my questions with honesty.