Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill
The Scottish Government will introduce legislation ensuring wildlife and natural environment legislation is efficient, effective and proportionate, supporting sustainable economic activity, particularly in the countryside.
The consultation on a draft Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill ends on September 4, 2009 after which Ministers will make final decisions on content. The Bill is expected to be introduced to Parliament in Spring 2010.
The Bill will be a wide-ranging piece of legislation modernising outdated statute and addressing anomalies and weaknesses in current laws. It will reduce regulatory burdens while helping to protect and enhance the natural environment for future generations.
The Scottish Government is keen for legislation relating to natural heritage to be fit for purpose, support sustainable economic development, deliver public benefit and to be able to react to changing circumstances. Proposals include:
- A package of measures for improved deer management
- Modernisation and deregulation of game law (relating to game birds and ground game) currently dating back to the 19th century, making it more efficient and effective
- Creating a more robust framework in relation to the keeping, release and control of invasive non-native species
- Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of species licensing administration
- Enabling greater flexibility in how muirburn (controlled burning of heather, grass and other moorland) is carried out
- Addressing anomalies in badger protection legislation
- Implementing Ministerial commitments on snaring, including a tough new accreditation scheme for those who set snares
- Changes to the technical operation of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) legislation
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