some areas for concern highlighted in red
The following areas were discussed in some detail. I also make comment on the direction we feel the WNE Team and the Minister are currently leaning.
1. Competence-it appears highly likely that there will a requirement for all those who shoot deer to demonstrate a degree of competence which will be linked to National Occupational Standards. Those shooting deer under supervision by a competent person will not be required to hold a certificate of competence. It looks likely that the current Level 2 DSC will be the required standard. Grandfather rights may only be available in exceptional circumstances or may not be available at all.
2. Deer Management Planning-it appears unlikely that there will be the introduction of mandatory deer management planning.
3. Seasons-we are unsure as to how the WNE Bill Team are going to determine on the subject of seasons. We stressed the importance on the welfare and vulnerability of particularly male deer during winter months and the economic importance to rural communities. We also stressed the venison quality issues in relation to deer shot out of season.
4. Occupiers Rights-are likely to be retained in some format but may be subject to tighter regulation.
5. Dispute resolution and deer panels are key to thinking as could the retention of Sections 7-10 in all but name.
6. Returns appear to be linked to competence and a register of those who are competent. We have stressed the unworkable nature of this proposal but this proposal appears inter linked to competence.
7. Traceability-we stressed the need for a traceability system which is administered and policed adequately.
The responses to the Consultation Document will be subject to external analysis and Stakeholder discussion which will probably take place in early 2010. The Bill must have made its way though the Scottish Parliament by May 2011 at the latest. It is worth remembering that amendments to the Bill could be made at Stages 2 and 3 of the Bill's passage.
Please take every opportunity to lobby your local MSP. ADMG will seek further discussions with the WNE Bill Team.
Looks like we might all need to do a new test if Grandfather rights are not sorted properly. But we have won on some things and there is still time to change more of what we know to be unworkable,