We care for the mountain hare and call on the Scottish Parliament to urgently introduce greater protection for this iconic species that is native to Scotland.
What is being done?
The Scottish Government has called for ‘voluntary restraint’ on large-scale culls of mountain hares. This appeared in a joint statement in 2014 by SNH, Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). Following evidence of large-scale culls taking place within the Cairngorms in early 2016, Cairngorms National Park echoed this statement, calling for “better data” and asking moorland managers to ensure any culls do not threaten the conservation status of mountain hares.
Scottish wildlife charities, including the RSPB and Scottish Wildlife Trust, have called on the Scottish Government to impose a three-year ban on all mountain hare culling on grouse moors until safeguards are in place to that ensure killing is ‘sustainable’.
What is OneKind doing?
In November, OneKind organised a rally and mass lobby at the Scottish Parliament as part of the campaign. Around 100 people attended the rally, and our volunteers had knitted a mountain hare for every MSP in parliament, each with their own personal message asking for support to end the culls. Alison Johnstone MSP (Scottish Greens) and David Stewart MSP (Scottish Labour) both addressed the crowd, as well as the Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham MSP who said “the Government does not support mass culling of these animals at all”. We were delighted to hear her message that the Scottish Government is against large-scale culling, but it’s clear that we need to keep pressure on MSPs if we’re to see an end to mountain hare culls.