Sir, – Fergus Ewing and the Scottish Government and their various departments have not understood the importance of managing the rural landscape and predator control for farm livestock.

If a dog or a fox is caught killing a sheep, or a lamb, the farmer has the right to shoot it. If a badger is seen killing a lamb – and they do – the badger is protected. Surely this is wrong?

If conservationists and environmentalists were going to lose something belonging to them, they would not be very happy about that either.

The rural landscape is not in a natural state since people moved out of their cave dwellings to farm the land, draining wetlands by creating ditches and burns etc (and to be maintained accordingly) plus building roads, houses, towns and villages.

The countryside is not a playground for conservationists and environmentalists to do as they wish and regardless of the consequences to those who depend on their livelihoods in rural areas by reintroducing species that cause untold damage to wildlife and farmland. Beavers, for instance, cause flooding and damage to trees etc and then when crops get waterlogged as a result, within 24 hours they are lost, along with the untold damage to watercourses and yet even more flooding.

Maybe these same groups should experience some flooding in their own properties, or maybe move back to a more natural habitat themselves and revamp some redundant cave dwellings with all the luxuries attached to that lifestyle?

Patrick Sleigh


Hillhead of Daviot,