Friday, December 15, 2006

Scottish livebait ban clears another hurdle

A ban on livebaiting across Scotland looked certain to form part of the forthcoming Scottish Fisheries Bill tonight after the Scottish Executive backed the move.

Original drafts of the bill proposed creating the power to ban livebaiting in areas where translocation of fish could damage rare species or fragile ecosystems.

But an ammendment tabled last month proposed a blanket ban and this has now become incorporated into the bill.

In her response, which was published on the Scottish Parliament's website earlier today Rhona Brankin, Scotland's Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development said: "I thank the Committee for their recommendation that the Executive brings forward an amendment at Stage 2 to prohibit the use of live vertebrates as bait. I can confirm that we shall do so."

In her opening remarks, Ms Brankin said she was happy with the wording of the Bill, after lengthy consultation.

She went on: "I believe that as a result, the Bill reflects the agreed view of the majority of stakeholders, striking a careful balance between competing priorities.

"While there are clearly some points of detail which may require to be amended, I believe the Bill as a whole should not be changed fundamentally."

Coarse angling interests north of the border, between them representing thousands of anglers, were united in their support for livebaiting and their belief similar legislation to that currently in force in England would suffice.

The PAC came out strongly in support of the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland and Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling in its submission during the consultation stage.

To read Rhona Brankin's response on behalf of the Scottish Executive in full, click here.

For more of the background, click here.

For the PAC's written submission in evidence, click here.

For the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland's submission, click here.

For the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling's submission, click here.

For links to all submissions received, click here.