On Thursday the 17th of September at midday, OneKind supporters will be rallying in front of the Scottish Parliament to call for an end to the mountain hare culls. Please join us!
Most people we talk to are shocked to learn that Scotland’s mountain hares are culled in the first place. Everyone has heard of the badger culls, yet mountain hare killing is largely unnoticed even though they are carried out on a much bigger scale.
There are in fact many parallels between the badger and mountain hare culls. Perhaps the most striking is the similar reason for the culls and the tenuous evidence base behind it. Whilst badgers stand accused of transmitting bovine TB to cattle, mountain hares are culled primarily by estate managers to control louping ill, a virus that affects red grouse and is transmitted by ticks that are carried by the hare and other mammals. The Krebs report into badger culling concluded that “badger culling is unlikely to contribute positively, or cost effectively, to the control of cattle TB in Britain”. Similarly, Scottish Natural Heritage scientific experts reviewed the evidence and advised that “There is no clear evidence that mountain hare culls serve to increase red grouse densities”.
There are two big differences, however. The first is that mountain hare culls are carried out to support the shooting industry. Ethically this is even less justified than culling in support of farming industry. The second is the lack of opposition to mountain hare culling. In England, the badger culls have been met with public outcry, but here in Scotland mountain hare culls take place under the radar, primarily because they take place in remote places and are organised by land managers whilst the Government turns a blind eye.
If we’re to see an end to mountain hare culls, this is what we need to change. We need to be loud and clear: we oppose the senseless and ruthless killing of our native wildlife and call upon the Scottish Government to urgently end the culls! Here’s what you can do:
- Join us the rally and mass lobby of the Scottish Parliament on 17th of November at 12:00, and encourage your friends and family to do the same!
- Sign up to our Thunderclap to help us get #HareCare trending on social media on the 17th November
- If you live in Scotland, Email your MSP to ask them to support the campaign and come to the lobby.