Leading animal protection charity OneKind wants to see an end to driven grouse shooting as the biggest day in the shooting calendar approaches.
The Glorious Twelfth, which falls on the Saturday 12 August, marks the start of the grouse shooting season in Scotland, the north of England and Northern Ireland.
Between 15 and 19% of Scotland is a grouse moor, and the land is managed to maximise the number of red grouse available to shoot. This includes legal predator control of wildlife like foxes and stoats, the culling of mountain hares, and, on some estates, the illegal persecution of birds of prey such as hen harriers and golden eagles. Grouse moor management for this so-called sport is also linked to damaging protected wildlife sites, and increasing water pollution, flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions.
OneKind Director Harry Huyton said:
“There is nothing glorious about a day famous only for marking the beginning of the killing of tens of thousands of birds across the Scottish countryside for fun. There is no place for bloodsports in a modern Scotland, and we believe driven grouse shooting should be banned outright on ethical, conservation and environmental protection grounds.”
In the lead up to the Glorious Twelfth, events were held up and down the UK to raise awareness of the illegal persecution of hen harriers, which is linked to driven grouse shooting as the raptor is believed to pose a threat to red grouse numbers.
OneKind supported this year’s events and attended Highland Hen Harrier Day on Sunday 6th August in Boat of Garten.
Harry Huyton said:
“Grouse moor management is completely out of control, and the illegal killing of hen harriers is just the tip of the iceberg. Wildlife persecution is carried out at an enormous scale on Scotland’s grouse moors, just to prop up driven grouse shooting, an elite ‘sport’ that entertains a very small number of people and yet dominates our landscape. Wildlife persecution might have become normalised in the industry but, as movements like Hen Harrier Day show, the public are increasingly calling for radical change.”
“The hunting sector in Scotland is one of the most weakly regulated in Europe, but by this time next year I hope that the Scottish Government will have corrected this and taken big steps forward, including ending mountain hare culls and introducing licensing for all grouse shoots.”
OneKind has also been campaigning for greater protection of mountain hare, another victim of driven grouse shooting. Their petition to the Scottish Government has gathered over 11,000 signatures, and a further 8,000 people signed a petition to the Cairngorms National Park Authority calling for an end to culls there.
Notes to editor:
- OneKind is a Scottish animal protection charity working to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals.
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