Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill passed

Legislation to improve protection for wildlife.

Scotland’s wildlife will benefit from increased protection thanks to a new law passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill includes a range of measures that will help tackle raptor persecution, and ensure that the management of species on grouse moors is done so sustainably and with animal welfare as a priority.

The Bill:

  • bans the practice of snaring in Scotland
  • bans the use of glue traps to catch rodents
  • gives greater powers to Scottish SPCA inspectors to tackle wildlife crime
  • introduces a new licensing framework for grouse moors
  • strictly regulates the use of muirburn, the controlled burning of vegetation on peatland

Agriculture Minister Jim Fairlie said:

“This Bill is a significant step in our wider journey to ensure Scotland’s environment is managed sustainably.

“People who live and work on our land have shown that it’s possible to manage wildlife. They have shown that muirburn, which is a key approach to helping manage wildfires, can be undertaken responsibly and in a way that protects biodiversity.

“We have struck the right balance between improving animal welfare, supporting rural businesses and reinforcing  a zero tolerance approach to raptor persecution and wildlife crime.”


The Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill was introduced primarily 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. It will do this by implementing the recommendations of the independent review of grouse moor management.

Muirburn is the intentional and controlled burning of moorland vegetation to encourage new growth (either heather or grassland) for the management of moorland game and wildlife or for improving the grazing potential of the moorland for livestock or deer.


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