Training to ensure legal obligations are met

The GWCT is running specialist courses for gamekeepers and managers.
The GWCT is running specialist courses for gamekeepers and managers.

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is holding two courses to help gamekeepers and wildlife managers to stay within the law for predator control.

Land managers have to be up to date in their training and practical knowledge, and the trust has organised the specialist courses at Kingswood Kennels, Bankfoot, near Perth on Wednesday, May 7.

Both sessions will be run by Hugo Straker, GWCT’s senior adviser.

The morning session will be the Scottish Government-approved GWCT fox and rabbit snaring training course to bring participants up to speed with the latest legislation and the now-compulsory requirements when setting snares under the WANE (Wildlife and Natural Environment) Act. There is a legal obligation for anyone wishing to set a snare to sit a Scottish Government-approved training course. Successful candidates will be awarded a certificate which must be presented to the local police, who in turn will issue the individual with a unique ID number.

It became illegal to set a fox or rabbit snare without the operator’s ID number attached after April 1 last year. The cost for this training is £40 plus VAT per person.

The afternoon will focus on crow control and Vicarious Liability which is relevant for landowners, managers and keepers in today’s ever-changing political climate.

An overview will be given of the WANE Act and Vicarious Liability, followed by a detailed session on the legal and practical aspects of corvid control and the use of Larsen traps, Larsen “mates” and multi-catch crow cages, with particular focus on the new General Licences as issued by Scottish Natural Heritage in January. Changes to licence wording may be subtle and appear insignificant but they can have a huge impact on how things are done on the ground.

A short written test will conclude the session and successful candidates will receive a GWCT certificate. The Cost per delegate is £55 plus VAT.

Mr Straker said: “These courses will highlight the fundamental importance of animal welfare and will provide a clear legal steer as well as useful hands-on tips through practical demonstrations. Everyone must understand and adhere to the new General Licences and make sure they stay within the law.”

For further information and to book contact Irene Johnston on 01738 551511 or e-mail