NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Protest held over wildfowl killing at Findhorn Bay

Findhorn Protest Image copyright JASPERIMAGE

A protest has been held over wildfowl being shot at a Moray nature reserve.

A compromise over the shooting of wild geese and ducks at Findhorn Bay had been agreed, but later broke down after it was rejected by a national shooting body.

The six-month shooting season began on Thursday.

Friends of Findhorn Bay supporters gathered on Wednesday evening in the nature reserve to mark what was described as the last day of peace.

Conservationists petitioned the council for a ban on shooting wild geese and ducks at the bay earlier this year.

An agreement was then brokered by Moray Council between wildfowlers and the conservationists.

It stated there would be no shooting on Mondays and Tuesdays after 10:00, and signposts would be put up to warn wildfowlers of the new rule.

'Controlled manner'

The British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) later said it would not recognise the agreement because it was not at the negotiations, and the agreement broke down.

Moray Council said an update would be given to councillors at the economic development and infrastructure services committee meeting later this month.

One supporter of a ban on shooting, Spencer Julian, of Kinloss, said: "Shooting may be a traditional local activity but it has got completely out of hand here, with people travelling from all over the UK and abroad to shoot on Findhorn Bay, because it is one of the last bastions of free-for-all shooting.

"This has to stop and the council now must take a stand for the benefit of the local people that it represents."

Donald Muir, a country officer for BASC Scotland, said: "For a number of years, BASC has supported the view of the local management committee that bylaws should be introduced on Findhorn Bay allowing the introduction of a permit system for wildfowling.

"This would ensure that wildfowling would continue in a sustainable and controlled manner."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites