Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has called on the MoD to stop willfully damaging the wildlife and environment of the North West of Scotland following news that bird life has been destroyed in a heath fire caused by tracer bullets from soldiers on manouvers on Cape Wrath.
This latest incident follows on from serious concerns from environmental groups about the impact that recent NATO war games were having on cetaceans in the surrounding waters, as well as concerns from local farmers and residents about the disturbances caused to their way of life during the lambing season.
Mr Gibson said..
"To myself and others this incident is nothing short of wildlife crime. It may have escaped the attention of the MoD but there has been a prolonged dry spell in the Highlands, so to go around shooting tracer bullets is stupid. It was bound to happen - it's as bad as someone one dropping a match onto a bone dry moor."
"This week I will be taking part in a debate on wildlife crime in Parliament. I will be bringing up this reckless MoD behaviour. This time they have gone too far. Not only have they potentially destroyed the young of red grouse, merlins, sky larks and golden plover, they have potentially endangered neighbouring land and property. The MoD are riding rough shod over communities' sensibilities."
"Their attitude towards the people of the North is arrogance. They continue bombing (as part of NATO war games) in lambing season. They continue to use sonar that is linked to stranding of whales. Now they start fires on bone dry moorlands which destroys bird life. It is time to review the need for their dangerous war games in our country."