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Wildfowlers and SACS Pull Out Of Findhorn Bay Discussions

Following a misleading petition from anti-shooters, SACS was asked by the local and visiting wildfowling communities to help their cause and get their voices heard. That request was met with vigour and commitment by SACS and we have worked tirelessly with Findhorn Wildfowling & Conservation Association (FWCA), Findhorn Bay Local Nature Reserve (LNR), Moray Council, Forres Nairn & District Wildfowling Association, BASC and local community representatives to find a sensible way forward that protects and promotes sustainable wildfowling on the bay in balance with other local interests.

Wildfowlers and SACS Pull Out Of Findhorn Bay Discussions

Now, after months of discussion, we are astonished to find that the LNR committee chair, Roy Dennis, and his committee have chosen to by-pass wildfowlers and go ahead with their own flawed permitting scheme, on which we have not been consulted and is not supported by FWCA or SACS.

FWCA and SACS would like to make it robustly clear that we do not support this proposed LNR permit scheme, which has connived to circumvent wildfowlers and poses a security risk to our members and others by harvesting personal details, including vehicle and shotgun certificate information, via a website with no safeguards. This follows on from anti-shooters gathering car registration numbers, physical descriptions and photographs of wildfowlers on the Bay.

SACS has also been informed that anti-shooters may have been involved in persuading Mr Dennis and his committee to side-step wildfowlers and drive this LNR permit scheme forward without our community’s involvement or support. In a modern and community-engaged Scotland, this situation is insupportable and we will be taking our concerns to Scottish Government Ministers and Moray Council.

Thus, following Mr Dennis’ extraordinary behaviour and refusal to listen to and engage with wildfowlers despite our best efforts, Findhorn Wildfowling & Conservation Association and SACS have with immediate effect pulled out of discussions. We have no confidence in Roy Dennis’ impartiality or competence as Chair, or in elements of the LNR committee who have actively sought to side-step our community of interest and of geography.

SACS Director, Alex Stoddart, says:

“That Mr Dennis imagined he was going to take forward his own wildfowling permit scheme without the backing of local and visitor wildfowlers is testament to the arrogance and ineptitude of him and his cohorts.

Wildfowling is an ancient and venerated hunting activity and fowlers themselves are, for the greater part, responsible hunters who take a sustainable harvest of surplus wildfowl. Some of the largest conservation movements were started by wildfowlers and wildfowling continues to be a vital native heritage activity for our communities, environment and local economy. Wildfowling has been integral to Findhorn Bay for many generations, long before certain vocal ideological interests decided that shooting and other established indigenous activities do not conform to their blinkered view of the world.

As a vehicle for conservation and sustainably harvesting a wild local food resource, wildfowling should be safeguarded and competent participation encouraged. For its part, SACS will continue the fight to ensure that happens and we will continue to stand against those who would perpetrate mistruths about our community and our way of life.”

SACS advisory note: There is no byelaw or new legal restriction on wildfowling on Findhorn Bay this coming season. Wildfowlers should not to apply for LNR permits or enter any details on the LNR website. SACS advises all wildfowlers to observe established restraint and best practice, and to continue to act in a responsible and community-minded way.