Leading Scottish animal welfare charity OneKind has renewed its calls for an end to driven grouse shooting on the Glorious Twelfth, the first day of the grouse shooting season.
Large areas of upland Scotland are used for driven grouse shooting with the land being managed to maximise the number of red grouse available for shooting. In order to keep red grouse numbers as high as possible, gamekeepers routinely kill predators such as foxes and stoats, undertake large-scale mountain hare culls and, on some estates, illegally persecute birds of prey, such as hen harriers and golden eagles.
OneKind Director, Bob Elliot, said:
‘There is nothing glorious about the day which marks the start of the shooting of large numbers of grouse.
‘Wildlife culling is carried out all year round, on an enormous scale, to eradicate predators from the moors. These animals can be legally trapped, shot and snared in Scotland’s countryside with very little in the way of public scrutiny, inspection, or regulation by the authorities. There is no restriction on the number of species that can be killed and so grouse moor managers may kill as many as they like, when they like, just so people can shoot red grouse for fun. People are now far more aware of the issues of intensively-managed grouse moors, and the more they hear, the less they like it.
‘It’s time we said enough is enough and called on the Scottish Government to reform and address the intensive management of Scotland’s grouse moors and end the indiscriminate killing of our wildlife.’
Last month, OneKind Director, Bob Elliot, was also interviewed following the discovery of a young male hen harrier found and filmed caught in an illegal spring trap set next to its nest site on a grouse moor. Bob commented:
‘There has been a long and well documented association between bird of prey persecution and grouse moor management in Scotland, but it isn’t just wildlife crime that blights our grouse moors. This latest film illustrates the point that in order to maximise the number of grouse available to be shot, any predatory animals or birds that threaten the grouse are viewed as pests.’
Notes to Editor
1. OneKind is a Scottish animal welfare charity working to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals.
2. Footage of the young male hen harrier caught in an illegal spring trap can be viewed here.
3. In 2018 OneKind joined Revive: a coalition of like-minded organisations working for grouse moor reform in Scotland.