THE recent Defra decisions to fudge the status of “game” birds is a complete sop to the landed gentry and their antiquated use of Scotland’s land. It also threatens, even persecutes our native wildlife, by confusing the issue of wild bird or livestock, the questions of VAT and liability for damage to gardens and crops etc.

But yet another issue arises with responsibility for controlling bird flu, with owners of even a few hens forced to cage them while the shooting estates are freely allowed to release millions of birds into the wild! Game birds seem to be wild and/or livestock on the whim (get-out clause) of the landowner.

READ MORE: Total number of positive Covid cases recorded in Scotland passes one million

This smacks of blatantly biased policy-making in favour of rich landowners on several levels and has to be stopped. Reducing the scale of shooting should also greatly reduce the number of guns in circulation in the Scotland, our wild birds would be protected from being shot by gamekeepers, and from bird flu, and from competition from game birds eating wild food.

Stop sport shooting and save save save, save. Independence and land reform ASAP.

Bruce Curtis
via email