WILD birds are being slaughtered across Scotland "with no oversight whatsoever”, it has been claimed.

Campaigners are calling for a full review of the current system under which birds can be killed to protect crops and livestock.

It comes after a legal challenge in England led by campaigners including TV naturalist Chris Packham, who has since faced death threats and intimidation.

Natural England recently revoked licences for controlling 16 species of bird following pressure from the Wild Justice group.

Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell said the situation in Scotland is similar, with general licences permitting a “wide range of hunting and killing of birds without any Government oversight”.

This includes bludgeoning magpies, crows and other corvids to death after luring them into traps with a decoy bird, he said.

It also takes in the shooting of certain species of gulls, geese, pigeons and doves, as well as oiling eggs with paraffin to prevent them from hatching.

Mr Ruskell said: “General licences effectively hand hunters and others a free pass to kill wildlife with no oversight.

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“I have raised serious questions with the Scottish Government over the future of general licences in Scotland, and am calling for a complete review of this callous and damaging system that is failing our wildlife.”

Animal campaign charity OneKind also called for an urgent review, with director Bob Elliot insisting shooting and trapping “pest” species of birds is widespread in Scotland.

The current system allows birds to be killed as a “last resort” under certain circumstances – such as if they are damaging crops or livestock or a threat to public health – without the need to apply for a specific licence.

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association insisted the suggestion there is no oversight is “incorrect”. A spokesman said general licences are “essential” for farmers to protect crops and livestock, and are also used by RSPB Scotland to control crows.

He said: “The challenge to the licences in England has led to chaos and what will suffer most from the mess is nature.”

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A spokeswoman for Scottish Natural Heritage said it was following the situation in England “carefully”, but insisted the legal system is slightly different in Scotland.

She said it would work with stakeholders “if we need to revise our approach”.