The management of driven grouse moors is killing Scotland’s wildlife. We want this to end and so we’ve created a petition to the Scottish Parliament, asking them to conduct a full review of the animal welfare impacts of the use of traps and snares on grouse moors and elsewhere in Scotland.
We created this Public Petition to the Scottish Parliament following the publication on 13 August 2019 of a photograph of a golden eagle – Scotland’s national bird – flying near Crathie in the Cairngorms National Park, with its leg apparently caught in a spring trap. At the time of writing the fate of the eagle is unknown, but it is thought likely to have suffered considerably and died.
The incident has caused a public outcry and a petition by Wild Justice to the UK Parliament calling for an outright ban on driven grouse shooting attracted tens of thousands of signatures within a few days of its launch. OneKind supports that petition, as driven grouse shooting is intimately connected both with so many wildlife offences across the UK, as well as the legal infliction of suffering on animals, including by trapping and snaring. However, given that animal welfare and wildlife protection are devolved issues, the scale of wildlife killing in Scotland and the suffering caused, we also believe that action is urgently required in the Scottish Parliament.
Mountain hare culls
More than 26,000 mountain hares are killed each year on Scotland’s grouse moors. Gamekeepers cull this iconic Scottish species as they believe that the mountain hares will spread disease to the red grouse, thus reducing the number of red grouse available for commercial shooting.
As mountain hares are very fast-moving animals that are able to easily take cover, they can be challenging to shoot and thus the risk of them dying from injury, as opposed to a ‘clean kill’ is heightened.
We have been campaigning for mountain hares for the past three years and have been successful in securing a successful ban on the snaring of this beautiful animal. Sadly, mountain hares can legally still be shot and snares can be legally set for the capture of other wildlife in Scotland.
Wildlife killed by traps
While the public are likely aware of the large-scale shooting of target birds and mountain hares in the name of sport, thousands of other wild animals are also killed in order to increase the numbers of red grouse available for commercial shooting.
Traps and snares can be, legally, set on grouse moors to target the red grouse’s natural predators: foxes, weasels, stoats and other birds. Many of these animals will not be killed instantly, but rather will endure physical and mental suffering, while they die slowly of their injuries. Foxes caught in snares can spend hours struggling before succumbing to their injuries.
These traps are indiscriminate, and can cause suffering to non-target species too, such as badgers and even companion dogs and cats.
There is also no limit to the number of animals that gamekeepers can legally kill.
OneKind is a member of the Revive coalition, along with Common Weal, Friends of the Earth Scotland, the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland and Raptor Persecution UK. Revive campaigns for significant reform of Scotland’s grouse moors and is working to propose an alternative vision for the estimated 12 – 18% of Scotland’s land currently used for grouse shooting. Such reform will not be achieved overnight and in view of the widespread public outrage provoked by this incident we see it as urgent to institute a Scottish Parliament review of wildlife persecution with the aim of eradicating inhumane practices associated with driven grouse shooting as soon as possible.
We need your help
Please sign our petition here and share the link across your social media channels and with your family & friends! To keep up-to-date with the work of Revive, please also pledge your support for significant reform to Scotland’s grouse moors here.