Committee members were informed that due to the current health pandemic NatureScot’s ability to assess the situation has been delayed.
Angus MacDonald MSP, argued that the petition should not be closed, as had been suggested by Scottish Land and Estates. Angus sought the unanimous support of the Committee to allow members of the successor committee, to scrutinise action taken to date to address the issue.
Angus said: “As one crofter commented a few years ago, ‘It used to be the geese that were endangered – now it’s the crofters that are endangered, thanks to the geese’.
“This petition was lodged in 2013, and while it’s fair to say there has been slow progress, it is a fact that geese remain a threat to crofting in the Outer and Inner Hebrides.
“I note that SLE and the BASC in their joint submission state that the Greylag Geese are probably the species capable of causing the greatest damage to crofting interests, but then recommend the committee closes the petition.
“However, with the greatest of respect, they do not represent many crofters whereas the lodgers of the petition, the Scottish Crofters Federation do.
“With that in mind, I believe this petition should be kept open.”
Members of the Committee agreed unanimously.