We believe mountain hares are an iconic species in Scotland that should be protected. That’s why we want to see VisitScotland withdraw their endorsements of business and organisations that support mountain hare killing.
OneKind calls upon VisitScotland to stop promoting recreational mountain hare killing, and specifically to:
- Stop hosting advertisements on its website or promoting in any way businesses that offer recreational hare-killing, as identified in the OK report
- Provide no more public money for SCSTG until it ends promoting and hosting advertisements for businesses that offer recreational hare-killing
- Withdraw VS endorsement of the SCSTG, and specifically their use of the VS logo throughout their communications, until SCSTG stops promoting recreational hare-killing.
Each year, tens of thousands of mountain hares are killed across Scotland. Some are killed as part of localised culls on shooting estates and others are killed for sport. Mountain hare hunting is a commercial enterprise, and hunters come from all over the world to shoot our native animals. Many estates across Scotland offer bespoke packages of mountain hare or mixed bags which include mountain hare.
VisitScotland’s mountain hare shame
On 1st August 2017, we released our report, Mountain hare persecution in Scotland, which exposed the full extent of persecution, and in particular, commercial hunting of this iconic animal.
We discovered 25 companies advertising mountain hare hunting online, some of which were advertised directly by VisitScotland including Mirani Hunting which offers mountain hare shooting among other so-called ‘sports’. However as soon as our report was released, the Mirani Hunting page on VisitScotland.org was removed.
However, VisitScotland still promotes businesses that offer recreational mountain hare killing, mostly through this support for the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (SCSTG).
Who is the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (SCSTG)?
Most of the marketing of country sports in Scotland is done by the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (SCSTG). The SCSTG was formed by some of the major Scottish country sporting organisations and associations, including Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) Scotland.
The SCSTG portal – http://countrysportscotland.com/ – lists VisitScotland as a partner and carries their logo throughout the site. Over the last five years, VisitScotland has issued at least two grants worth a total of £36,675 to the SCSTG.
Why this campaign?
We believe that is not appropriate for a Scottish Government agency like VisitScotland to use public money and resources to promote the large-scale recreational killing of mountain hares, especially since the Scottish Government has conservation obligations for the species.
That’s why we want to see VisitScotland withdraw their endorsements of business and organisations that support mountain hare killing. Sign our petition now!