A grouse with M&S

imagesDear Marc Bolland

Last year you came under some pressure because  of the stance of M&S on selling Red Grouse meat in your London stores.  We are approaching the Inglorious Twelfth again, how time flies!, and I am writing to ask you to be more open and informative to your customers this year. I would ask you not to sell Red Grouse as it comes from an industry that reeks of criminality.

With a couple of accidental lapses, I have boycotted your stores for the last year. This is more of a pain for me than it is for you as I am just one customer but I am just the type of person who likes M&S, who wants to spend their money with M&S and who would choose M&S in preference to other stores where I now shop.

However, I think others may join me this year as Ethical Consumer magazine’s very recent report on the problems with grouse shooting suggests a boycott of companies associated with grouse shooting.  Because of your high profile stance on this issue last year you are in the firing line.

I should let you know that as well as the Ethical Consumer report this year there will be events across the north of England where people protest against the criminal killing of protected wildlife by too many of those associated with grouse shooting. These are organised for 10 August. Why don’t you come to the event on 10 August in the Peak District and talk to some of your customers and to Chris Packham who is supporting the event?

Also, feelings are so high that recently an e-petition was launched on the government website calling for grouse shooting to be banned in England. It is already in the top 2% of such e-petitions and has only been up and running a matter of five weeks.

Selling grouse meat is a trivial part of your business.  You will need scores of people to buy grouse from you to replace just the lost profits from my purchases with you through the year.  If you persist with selling grouse meat, it sends a clear signal that you actively want to support this industry and are siding with an industry that causes environmental damage and is intimately associated with wildlife crime (see here).

Please let me know what you intend to do on this matter.

Here are the links to last year’s events to remind you of where we got to here, here, here and here.



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16 Replies to “A grouse with M&S”

  1. As I recall, last year it was claimed that M&S obtained their grouse from Yorkshire, whilst I can think of one ( note ONE) estate in the Dales that MIGHT not persecute it "benefits" from persecution carried out by its neighbours without speaking out. In my book that makes it complicit. Essentially there is no way that one can shoot, eat or buy Red Grouse with a clear conscience, we should boycott all those places that offer grouse for sale or as part of the menu, ethical it certainly is not.
    Perhaps on a slightly different front we should also be boycotting those businesses that generate the profit enabling people to own and run grouse moors. It is long past the time to get tough and not just say but do as we mean, making it quite clear why and if you haven't already sign the petition, WHY NOT?

  2. Well done Mark,a good policy and very good argument put forward to C E,sure it hurts you more than M&S but If enough people follow your lead then supermarkets are all about maximising profit so will seriously consider it.

  3. Sunday night - Countryfile in the Peak District and Tom Heap [I think] reporting on grouse shooting.

  4. I've always thought that shot game should be sold with a sticker on it saying "may contain lead" we banned lead in paints we banned it in petrol yet we allow game to be sold for consumption with lead pellets in it?

  5. Excellent Mark, sooner or later the message will get across to these sadistic dinosaurs that crimes against wildlife by the Red Grouse shooting fraternity will not be tolerated in this so-called enlightened society. Killing wildlife for "sport" belongs in the bygone Victorian era and should be relegated to the trash can where it belongs.

    1. Would you happen to be part of the shooting fraternity Ruby, by any chance? Oh, and just a one-liner? Would you care to qualify that accusation in any way?

      I also presume you meant "They are", rather than "Their"? 😉

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