Scottish deer stalkers have been challenged to take the Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 – or they may see laws introduced making them officially register and undertake a competence course before going out on the hill.
Under the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, Scottish Natural Heritage must carry out a competence review in 2014. The review is intended to help the Scottish government calculate the effects of stalkers’ competence on national deer welfare.
The Deer Sector Competence Working Group said: “We would strongly urge those within the deer stalking community to undertake one of the available courses and acquire the relevant qualifications to demonstrate competency as a priority. The best way to avoid further red tape and regulation being imposed on the industry is for deer stalkers to go through the voluntary system as soon as possible.”