Under a photograph of heather, but no grouse, M&S state that they won’t be selling grouse in their stores this year but they are selling a range of other game from October onwards.
M&S claim that they have made lots of progress in identifying estates where raptors have ‘high’ (surely they mean ‘absolute’ – this is not negotiable, it’s the law) levels of protection.
On grouse meat M&S say ‘Because of the cold wet spring and the toll this took on red grouse on our single estate in the Scottish Borders, we won’t be selling grouse this year – as a responsible retailer, we believe that conserving the birds this year is the right thing to do. We intend to stock grouse next year, assuming the weather allows us too!’
That’s quite clever – it buys them another year to think about things. In the next 12 months there will be increasing pressure on grouse shooting and increasing pressure on retailers, game dealers and restaurants to supply lead-free meat shot with non-toxic shot. The report of the Lead Ammunition Group will have been published and lead ammunition will be heading towards the history books.
If I were campaigning on a much wider field then I’d be asking M&S about their Responsible Sourcing code and its details. But since they aren’t selling grouse this year then I’ll leave that to others and breathe a sigh of relief that I can spend my money at M&S for another year, at least. I’d be surprised if M&S ever do sell grouse meat in their stores.