At 08:34 this morning my (our!) e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting completed its first month and had accumulated 5880 signatures.
That is really good progress – and there are 11 months to go.
Our e-petition is in the top 1.5% of most-signed of all e-petitions, on all subjects, on the government website and still has 11 months of life in it.
Our e-petition is also the 27th most-signed of more than 1500 e-petitions that have been aimed at Defra (and, remember, this is after just one month).
Already, we have rattled the cages of the criminal elements within grouse shooting, and given a poke to those who are responsible grouse moor managers to work much harder to put their collective house in order.
It has also raised the issue up the agenda amongst nature conservation organisations – the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust and elsewhere too.
And politicians are paying attention too – this e-petition closes just after the next UK general election and so the next government will have to take on board our views if we can keep the number of signatures growing.
If we get to 10,000 signatures then the government will have to respond to our views.
This is the text of the e-petition:
Ban driven grouse shooting
Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Intensive management of upland areas for the ‘sport’ of grouse shooting has led to the near-extinction of the protected Hen Harrier in England, as well as increased risk of flooding, discolouration of drinking water, degradation of peatbogs and impacts on other wildlife.
Grouse shooting interests have persecuted the Hen Harrier to such an extent that, despite full legal protection for the last 60 years, it is almost extinct as a breeding species in England (2 pairs nested in 2013) despite there being habitat available for 300+ pairs. The investigation of wildlife crimes against such protected species is time-consuming, difficult to prosecute, and ties up valuable police resources.
Grouse shooters have failed to put their own house in order, despite decades of discussion, and government has proved incapable of influencing this powerful lobby group.
The time has now come for the public to call ‘Enough!’ and require the next government to ban driven grouse shooting in England.
Do please sign this e-petition if you support it – and if you do, then please get some mates to sign too.