Jon Dunn, birder and author, says:
‘There’s nothing I’d like more than to see a ban implemented on driven grouse shooting in Britain. Let’s not mince our words – it’s a blood-sport, where people kill wild animals for fun.
But setting the immorality of that aside for a moment, it’s a rural industry with blood on its hands in more ways than one. To create unnaturally high populations of Red Grouse for people to line up and shoot, grouse moors are intensively managed.
Managed is a euphemism, though – land management on grouse moors all too often takes the form of the illegal shooting, trapping and poisoning of birds of prey, of which Hen Harriers are but one species that are regularly targeted. Grouse moors also do their best to exterminate otherwise blameless Mountain Hares, Hooded Crows, Ravens… the list goes on.
The grouse shooting industry will try to spin this with greenwash. They’ll tell you that their moors also have high breeding densities of upland waders like Curlews and Golden Plovers, thanks to their benevolent ‘management’.
Here’s a funny thing though. I live in an upland area surrounded by moors, on which are found Red Grouse as well as some of the best populations of those upland waders anywhere in Britain. And also many Hooded Crows, Ravens, and plenty of skuas too. None of the latter predators are ‘managed’, and we have a pretty good balance going on here. The only thing that’s missing is an artificially high population of Red Grouse, a driven grouse shooting industry calling the shots, and their apologists exaggerating the industry’s importance to the rural economy.
It’s time for a change, and it’s time to wash our hands of this outdated blood-sport that’s going on, out of sight and out of mind, in some of the most beautiful and remote corners of the British Isles. Maybe then, and only then, will the blood be washed from the hands of the land-managers in question who regularly flout the law and illegally kill our Hen Harriers.‘
To join Jon Dunn, please sign Gavin Gamble’s e-petition which calls for a ban on driven grouse shooting.
Harry Huyton, Director of One Kind, says:
‘Predator control, prescribed burning, disease control… these professional-sounding terms are used to give credibility to intensive grouse moor management and to obfuscate the grim reality: legal and illegal killing of native wildlife, landscape-scale burning, and mass-medication as though the grouse were being intensively farmed.
For the past two years OneKind has worked to expose and end the persecution of mountain hares on Scotland’s grouse moors. Like illegal raptor persecution, the widespread killing of mountain hares in an attempt to reduce the prevalence of disease in red grouse is illustrative of the principle that informs intensive grouse moor management: grouse good, competing wildlife bad. It’s time to end the grip of this brutal dogma on our uplands and ban driven grouse shooting for good.’
To join Harry Huyton, please sign Gavin Gamble’s e-petition which calls for a ban on driven grouse shooting.
Alan Davies and Ruth Miller are birdwatching guides who once held the world record for seeing the most species of birds in a calendar year (Ruth still does hold the female record!).
Alan says ‘Our moorlands should be a place where we can enjoy our native wildlife, Driven Grouse Shooting denies us all that chance. To see a “skydancing” male Hen Harrier is a breath-taking experience, one we cannot have if Driven Grouse Shooting persists‘
Ruth says ‘I want to walk in our uplands and experience the thrill of seeing our native birds of prey in a wild landscape. I do not want to walk across the terrible landscape created by Driven Grouse Shooting, devoid of so many of our birds and mammals.‘
To join Ruth and Alan, please sign Gavin Gamble’s e-petition which calls for a ban on driven grouse shooting.
Cartoonist Paul Thomas says:
‘I’m against driven grouse shoots because of the grotesque cruelty that is being dished out in the name of ‘sport’. Anyone defending it is talking out of their butts.’
To join Paul Thomas, please sign Gavin Gamble’s e-petition which calls for a ban on driven grouse shooting.
Nick Miles, actor, says:
‘I want driven grouse shooting to be banned because I see its impacts in the area where I live. This picture was taken a short walk from where I live in Wensleydale, surrounded by grouse moors, within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. I can, and do, walk for hours, days, weeks, without seeing a single raptor and it depresses the hell out of me. Earlier this year I found the Heron that used to patrol my local bit of the River Ure lying dead next to poisoned bait. The criminal slaughter of wildlife to support the hobby of a few rich people is a national disgrace and needs to be tackled with the utmost urgency.‘
To join Nick Miles, please sign Gavin Gamble’s e-petition which calls for a ban on driven grouse shooting.