I am glad to hear from some of your customers that you are reviewing the sale of Red Grouse in your Food Hall – this is an excellent move on your part. Well done!
You are probably aware of the report from the Ethical Consumer magazine which highlights the environmental problems with intensive management of moors for Red Grouse shooting (but if not, see here and here).
Intensive management of land for driven grouse shooting involves the killing of large numbers of native wildlife (some of this killing – of birds of prey – is completely illegal), damage to protected blanket bogs, discolouration of water supplies (and therefore higher water bills for all), erosion of carbon stores in peatbogs and increased flood risk in downstream areas. See here for a brief resume of the evidence.
You may also be aware of the advice from the Food Standards Agency on ingestion of lead in game food.
And you may have noticed that M&S decided to withdraw grouse meat from its stores because it was unable to prove that its suppliers were sticking to the law and did not want to be associated with an industry that profits from wildlife crime (see also here).
These matters are of increasing relevance because this year only four pairs of Hen Harriers nested in England (there should be over 300 if they weren’t killed illegally by grouse shooting interests) and already two of the young birds fledged this year have disappeared in suspicious circumstances consistent with them having been shot.
Does your business really want to be associated with such an industry?
Over 17,000 people have signed an e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting in the last four months because they feel so strongly about it. So the nature-loving public will look with interest at your decisions on whether or not to sell Red Grouse in your store.
I, for one, promise to spend £100 online with you if you withdraw Red Grouse from your store for the next three years.
Dr Mark Avery
not currently a customer but willing to become one if you do the right thing.