It was such a bad move from the shooting industry to lobby for exemption from the Rule of Six for gamebird shooting. Drawing attention to yourself when you are in such a poor position is never a good idea. Just now, and it may only last for a while, millions of people are sensitised to grouse shooting in a way they never have been before.
This evening there was an excellent Channel 4 News item (well done, Luke Steele!) on the Goathland Goshawk incident. It was introduced with a warning that the clip contained images of animal cruelty – not very helpful for the image of a traditional rural pastime. Here’s a quote;
Some ‘keepers clearly killing anything, everything, to produce one thing, grousehttps://www.channel4.com/news/is-queen-about-to-turn-her-back-on-the-grouse-shooting-industry
A lot of tweed-clad young men feigning ignorance of the Goshawk case was hilarious. But the important information was that even the Duchy of Lancaster is considering moving away from grouse shooting as there are other more promising and potentially more lucrative, and definitely less reputationally damaging, land use options.
Then there is Nicola Sturgeon distancing herself from grouse shooting (see here on RPUK); not for her any guff about the importance of grouse shooting to the rural community, she knows this is an increasingly toxic subject in the minds of voters.
This Guardian article about the Wild Justice gamebird challenge would never have got in the paper if it had not been linked to the Misrule of Six exemption.
And this further Guardian piece on heather burning, peatlands and DEFRA’s inertia on the Climate Change Committee’s call for a ban on burning might not have seen the light of day if ‘Rule of Six, grouse shooting’ were not in ediitors’ heads right now.
So we must thank the Countryside Alliance and BASC for all their work to get their exemption – enjoy it while you can, fate is closing in on grouse shooting.