DEFRA is in denial over the ills of driven grouse shooting – they haven’t even made it to base camp yet and admitted that wildlife crime is out of control on English grouse moors. Without accepting the problem, and without accepting it as their problem, we can’t expect any action from the grouse shooter’s moll although it was interesting to see that her boss was sporting a Hen Harrier pin badge yesterday!
The Labour party at least recognises, I think (it is actually hard to tell), that wildlife crime associated with intensive grouse shooting is an issue that needs to be solved – but doesn’t seem to have a plan to fix the problem.
The Green Party has a policy to ban all bloodsports but is unlikely soon to be in a position to do any such thing. However, Natalie Bennett is one of the most powerful advocates, and a well-informed one, on why driven grouse shooting needs to be dealt with (wildlife crime, water quality, greenhouse gases as well as wildlife crime).
The Liberal Democrats … oh dear, the Liberal Democrats.
The political party showing how these things can be done is the SNP. This is an extract from their programme for government for this year (2017-18).
Protecting our flora and fauna
Wildlife and plant species must also be protected as key natural resources. We will:
- take forward proposals with Police Scotland for new resources to tackle wildlife crime
- establish an independent group to consider how to ensure that the management of grouse moors is environmentally sustainable and compliant with the law
- commission work in relation to protecting gamekeepers’ employment and other rights
- commission a research project to examine the impact of large shooting estates on Scotland’s economy and biodiversity
- establish an independent group to advise on effective and sustainable deer management
I’d vote for that.
I’ll look forward to hear any further positive news from the SNP conference but will be surprised, delighted of course, if we hear much from other political parties during the autumn conference season. But, we’ll see.