Just a recap really in case you are thinking of selling red grouse meat in your shops this year. Some things that have happened since your excellent decision not to see red grouse meat in your shops last year:
- I started shopping at M&S again
- governments, including the EU (and including the UK) decided in autumn last year to phase out lead ammunition – to the best of my knowledge there are no grouse shot in the UK with non-toxic ammunition. Grouse meat can be expected to contain high levels of lead.
- the Lead Ammunition Group has submitted its report which is widely expected to recommend a move to non-toxic ammunition. Would M&S want to be seen to start selling grouse meat which could be expected to contain high lead levels under these circumstances?
- the first Hen Harrier Day was held with rallies at four sites across the UK, involving hundreds of people, to protest against the illegal killing of Hen Harriers by grouse shooting interests in the UK – more such rallies are planned for this year.
- Selfridges also decided not to sell grouse meat in their food hall
- 22,400 people signed an e-petition on the government website calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting, making it one of the top 0.5% most-signed e-petitions on that site ever
- a study from Leeds University showed that intensive grouse moor management leads to increased flood risk (and therefore higher house insurance costs), water pollution (and therefore increased water bills) and increased greenhouse gas emissions. therefore the evidence for lack of sustainability for grouse production has grown since you made your very sensible decision.
- the RSPB has called for licensing of driven grouse shooting
- the UK government is still struggling to deal with a complaint to the EU over the protection of blanket bog habitat from damage from over-burning by grouse shooting estates
- five male Hen Harriers have disappeared from active nests in England this breeding season – foul play is suspected because this type of bird doesn’t just disappear in this way – not all five of them anyway!
All in all, your decision not to sell grouse meat looks a good one as you would be facing increased criticism on all these grounds had you gone ahead. If you were contemplating reversing your decision it would look bizarre, wouldn’t it? The worries about the sustainability of driven grouse shooting have increased since last year, not decreased.
I wonder what you are planning to do?