Warning – Disturbing scenes of wildlife persecution
Footage released today from an investigation by OneKind and the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland yet again shows the grim reality of the war on wildlife that is being fought across Scotland’s grouse moors.
This stink pit consists of rotting deer carcases and dead foxes hanging from trees. The foul smell lures in foxes, who are then caught in snares that are set around the perimeter of the stink pit. The fox is then killed and most likely becomes yet another addition to the stink pit.
Why is our native wildlife being treated this way?
As is so often the case, the answer is bloodsports. Grouse moors are managed with one overriding priority: to maximise the number of red grouse available for recreational shooting. Any predator is a a threat to this goal, and foxes are not protected by law. Like stoats and weasels, and in some areas raptors in spite of their protected status, they are exterminated for daring to prey on red grouse.
Incredibly, this particular stink pit lied at the edge of a moor where a large-scale mountain hare cull took place just a few days after this film was taken. When the footage of the mountain hare culls was released (see here) one of the main arguments in defence of the culls was that it was needed to protect the moors from high mountain hare numbers and over-grazing (for example, see the Scottish Gamekeepers Association response).
Yet if grouse moor managers are so worried about mountain hare populations, why exterminate their natural predators? Surely before turning to lethal force, non-lethal alternatives should be explored? What would happen on a moor, for example, if mountain hares and predators weren’t killed? There might be a few less red grouse to shoot for fun, but there would be much more wildlife.
- Sign the petition to stop the culling of mountain hares
- If you live in Scotland, email your MSP – it only takes a second
- Join OneKind. Our investigations, lobbying and campaigning is only possible thanks to our members. Join us with a small monthly donation and we could do even more to protect Scotland’s wildlife.