Aug 122013

Today is the “Glorious Twelth”, a day when according to tradition hunting enthusiasts gather on moors in Scotland and the north of England to shoot Grouse.

Proponents will tell you that that this is an important British tradition.

They will also argue that it is good for Britain’s economy by attracting tourists, providing jobs for thousands of people and generating several £100 millions annually .

Eight Reasons to Oppose Grouse Shooting:

  1. Killing birds for sport is cruel and uncivilised.
  2. A large number of native birds and mammals who interfere with grouse shooting are trapped, poisoned or snared. Victims include stoats, weasels, and even iconic raptors such as hen harriers, red kites and golden eagles.
  3. An unnatural, heather-rich environment is created because the grouse thrive on young heather shoots. To create fresh young shoots, the heather is burned, which can harm wildlife and damage the environment.
  4. The burning of heather, reports an expert, ‘threatens to release millions of tonnes of carbon locked into the peat bogs underpinning the moors. Where burning occurs, the hydrology changes and the peat is open to decomposition and erosion. This strips the moor of carbon as surely as setting fire to the Amazon Forest.’ (Adrian Yallop, New Scientist magazine, 12 August 2006)
  5. The harsh ‘management’ of moorlands causes grouse numbers to boom. But as they overburden the landscape, they become weakened and fall prey to a lethal parasite – Strongylosis. This attacks the gut and leads to a collapse in the population.
  6. A cycle of population boom and bust is the norm on Britain’s grouse moors.
  7. Large quantities of lead shot are discharged, which is toxic to wildlife.
  8. Grouse shooting estates use the Countryside and Rights of Way Act to restrict public access to mountain and moorland.

Eight Reasons to Support Grouse Shooting:

  1. Grouse shooting is carried out with a high level of care and responsibility and is considered by many to be the pinnacle of game shooting.
  2. Careful conservation of grouse moors allows millions of visitors to enjoy access to areas of breathtaking scenery and wildlife.
  3. The management of uplands for grouse shooting is protecting the iconic heather moorland habitat for future generations to enjoy.
  4. Managing heather helps preserve the UK’s biggest carbon store in underlying peat.
  5. Over 60% of England’s nationally protected sites are managed grouse moors.
  6. Heather moorland is rarer than rainforest and threatened globally. The remaining 75% worldwide is in Britain thanks to grouse shooting.
  7. Nationally scarce waders and bird of prey flourish on grouse moors.
  8. Grouse shooting provides the economic engine to pay for conservation management and to maintain employment in remote rural areas. In turn, this employment helps communities and their schools, shops and pubs to survive. Local hotels benefit from shooting parties staying and there are knock-on effects through to garages, gun-shops and a whole range of related businesses, many of which would otherwise struggle.

The Glorious Twelfth is the official starting date for the red grouse shooting season in Scotland and parts of northern England.

The Glorious Twelfth is the official starting date for the red grouse shooting season in Scotland and parts of northern England. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Europe

“Fox Hunting” was made illegal a couple of years ago and perhaps the time has come when this so-called “sport” should also be banned.

We invite you to vote FOR or AGAINST the continuation of “Grouse Hunting”. Even if you’re not from the UK, please vote and also leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should "Grouse Hunting" be allowed to continue?

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Eight Reasons to Oppose Grouse Shooting was published by Animalaid.org.uk
Eight Reasons to Support Grouse Shooting was published by Basc.org.uk

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  141 Responses to “POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue?”

  1. To all of you bloodthirsty apologists. This is why we don’t want your cruel sport

  2. Crispin Worledge. Of course there is a reason to maintain the habitat of wild creatures and that reason is simply because wild creatures deserve protecting from morons with guns. Responsible citizens believe wild creatures should have wild places; they are not “sporting quarry” that need managing. Nature manages very well without human interference and we should be setting aside wild places where killing is prohibited. What a myopic viewpoint Crispin Worledge has and one so typical of those who see nature as something to exploit. Those who are unable to envisage an ecology without human interference are the morons, Crispin.

  3. All grouse-hunters are a bunch of ‘Dahling’ bastards! Hope the winds change at just the right direction!

  4. Humans love killing anything that walks. Its outdated, barbaric and pathetic for this to continue. I dont care about your excuses about economy of a town that relies on this at all. Just because something is now doesnt mean it must remain. Human beings who kill for sport are not welcome on this planet anymore, sooner you realise it quicker the change. BAN IT.

  5. Some sick followers on this wildlife page, A habitat can be managed without having to shoot grouse.

  6. If it was only about shooting grouse which were then eaten it would be quite straight forward – free-range, organic birds versus factory farmed, chemically raised chickens. But it is not straight forward. Grouse moors are "carefully managed". What that means is that anything which naturally predates on grouse and their eggs and chicks is classed as vermin and keepers try to wipe them out. As for the communities which rely on grouse shooting – that means already wealthy landowners keeping on a few part-time staff to run their shooting lodges and giving beaters some beer money for a few days a year.

  7. Preservation of a valuable habitat should not be contingent on license to kill.

  8. We don't need to kill to keep alive and healthy. All animals have the right to live and to live their lives the way they choose. Veganism is an excellent healthy choice.

  9. I really cannot believe that this is classed as sport. It is merely a group of people with more money than sense shooting defenseless animals. I know that a lot of business opportunities arise during this fiasco. Surely they could gather and engage in activities that are far more civilised and beneficial to nature. As for maintaining habitat, nature has been far better at it for millions of years, and will always do a far better job than us. We purely destroy and manipulate for greed

  10. Ban it, its cruel and serves no purpose. You do not conserve a species by shooting it.

    Shooting birds will go the same way as hunting with dogs and its not as far of as some would imagine.

  11. Hunting is what real predators do not thrill seeking dudes with big guns.

  12. Killing animals is NOT a sport -BAN IT!

  13. This barbaric practice must stop, it belongs to a medieval mindset.

  14. The only good hunter is a DEAD one. Hunt the hunters and lets see how these POS like it. I advocate hunt the hunters travel expeditions. This would indeed very popular and many people myself included would be very interested in participating.

  15. No, no a thousands time NO!

  16. I oppose the slaughter of Grouse. Sorry if my opinion offends anyone but that's how I feel and I have to say it. I am not judging anyone. Just giving my opinion as this poll was sent to me by a friend. Just like I don't judge anyone for eating meat or fowl. To each his/her own and to thine own self be true. It's not right for me and that's all I'm living by.

  17. NO !!!! bien sûr !!! ABOLITION de la chasse …………….

  18. this torture should stop. Animals dont think of humans as too much and kill us. Why should we control how many animals are in a species. None of them should be endangerd. Because of us, there is too much pollution and global warming. We need to come to our senses.

  19. Without the grouse who'd look after the Moors, the two go hand in hand.

  20. The world needs to learn compassion empathy and respect for ALL animals, learning, awareness is key, trying to live a VEGAN life is what to be proud of NOT being part in any kind of cruelty to innocent sentient beings, God loves his animals its in the Bible, he trusted us with them, but we are greedy selfish and uncaring. we are all born SINNERS, the world is satans play ground.

  21. No one has the right to kill! Who gave you that right? Put yourself in the place of the target, would you like to be hunted and killed? Anyway sooner or later you will be the target…As you sow, so shall you reap…

  22. Todo ato que prejudica a natureza, flora e fauna é injustificada e não deve ser utilizada pois traz a desumanidade e a destruição. Amemos a criação como parte de nosso corpo e alma e assim estaremos ajudando ao planeta e a nós mesmos, alem de duplicarmos o amor fraternal, solidário e amigo.

  23. God, this is insane.

  24. o jeito é começar a caçar os caçadores!

  25. Agree with you 100%. Lorraine ForAnimals Wardley.

  26. this is cruel to innocent animals and should be banned now.

  27. All hunting is violence. It is unethical. It is inhuman. It is for God who creates and controls it.. It is not within the power of man to control or kill.sentient beings, the earthlings! God does not supply guns when a child is born! No bloodshed! Peace and justice! Sensibility and compassion! Truth triumphs!

  28. Killing men who kill innocent women and children in war is one thing, but killing the innocent wildlife is an entirely different thing for sport which I abhorrently oppose. I stopped hunting any form of wildlife by the age of 15! Vote!

  29. No it should stop NOW

  30. L'odio verso gli animali e' la sconfitta dell'intelligenza umana.

  31. En dan zijn er nog (mensen) die dit gewoon vinden de idioten, die moeten ze hetzelfde behandelen als de dieren!

  32. En dan zijn er nog (mensen) die dit heel gewoon vinden de idioten die moesten ze het zelfde lot toedelen!!!!!!!!

  33. Seems a rather prejudicial title to the debate, slaughter is very evocative hardly neutral.

  34. Keep grouse shooting I say.

  35. In a modern densely populated Britain wildlife and environments need managing. This has been the case with the development of agricultural methods, growing towns, and the destruction of the great forests of Britain over the past centuries. Bowland forest in Lancashire is a good example of this and since 1964 has been a protected AONB and as part of this, grouse are managed and shot. 13% of the AONB is a SSSCI covering these important heather moorlands and bogs. However I would agree that in parts of the world where land is untouched man, such as rainforest, savannah, tundra, environments and wildlife ecosystems are self sustainable

  36. One of, if not THE highest producing sources of local jobs and income to otherwise inhabitable rural areas which would be desolate moorland with no outside interest or land management. Remove the raison d'etre of the "grouse moor" and you have wasteland of no commercial or aesthetic value. Before you can say "green votes" they will be plastered in wind turbines. If you really want to see what burning and pollution is doing to the environment have a look at the Baotou region in China where the Neodymium mines for the magnets used in wind turbines are situated! Polls like this have zero to do with wildlife and everything to do with class war. The RSPCA kill animals every day….and they do nothing to contribute to the management of Britain's countryside. Can we ban them too please?

  37. Grouse shooting is carried out with a high level of care and responsibility and is considered by many to be the pinnacle of game shooting and should be supported.

  38. I would like to make a comment on the sixth reason to oppose grouse shooting. A cycle of population boom and bust is the norm here in Sweden for both willow grouse and ptarmigan. This occurs without interference by man.

  39. don’t get why people think any one how shoots are barbarians I have been bought up shooting and also keep livestock and love my wildlife and idle rich do you even bloody think before you speak I am joiner by trade a started of labouring at 13 years old and only got paid £15 a day and my mate is a gamekeeper he only lives on the bread line so think before you speak and wildlife doesn’t control itself any more as lack of bigger natural predators

  40. I believe that our society has become so detached from reality that some truly do not realize that in order to eat something it must first be killed. We are omnivores. Living your life as some sort of apology for that is truly beyond any rational understanding.

  41. Killing innocent animals should never be classed as sport it is barbaric:( Gone are the days people used to kill to feed thier families because they had little money.

  42. Until the main and dominant species can become controlled, we will always look at the second problem and not the first 🙁

  43. Keep it going…please. Best of luck from sunny and hot MALTA to all our friends and fellow hunters gamekeepers guides and all in the UK.

  44. Its a simple fact. Where grouse moors are not managed for shooting there are no grouse. In the winter when I spent a full day with 20 others placing medicated grit on the moor to benefit the birds I didn't see any other variety of conservationist at work. The grouse are managed, and harvested. The epitome of free range and their impact on the rural economy is highly significant.

  45. My personal opinion is that there's NO need to hunt at all anymore, so it's only the human desire to feel empowered that keeps us doing it.

  46. Where wildlife is within an artificially created human compound, we need to control the population. We do however need to consider the impact on wildlife which may be dependant on the species.

  47. Tut tut Supertrooper deleting all my comments it just shows how corrupt you and this poll actually is but don't worry I have the comments saved and reposted ;).

  48. Wildlife does not need ‘managing’. It can cope by itself Morten krudsen. Stop making excuses for yourself and shut up about ‘townies’ because you know nothing.

  49. Very nice! Thank you for sharing.
    My town Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan  .

  50. Some reason votes and posts that have been maded for the "Yes" vote have and still do disappear. My question to the owner of the website – what is your motive? I guess you didn't expect this poll to go this way?

  51. Its simple really shooting helps conserve Grouse populations both directly and indirectly. Managed Moorland has a higher biodiversity than any other type of land management! Alot of the arguements against at the top of the page are easily dismissible if you simply look at their ecology and life cycle! Withput Moorland managed specifically for Grouse they will simply die out! Save the Grouse and support ethical shooting! Have a look for yourself if you dnt believe this statement!

  52. Is there any hope for a reasoned discussion about our countryside (let alone grouse moors) when the public have been brainwashed into thinking an urban landscape crawling with mangy foxes constitutes “wildlife”? Sadly we are heading for a time in the not too distant future when that may just be the case and the sound of a dawn chorus or a skylark will just be a memory. Then perhaps some of the contributors to this little discussion will be satisfied.

  53. AnimalAid are the same group attempting to connect shooting with pornography, they have written to retails stores, protested outside of stores and pressured them into putting shooting mags on the top shelf next to pornography. BASC has been getting numerous reports that shops are discriminating against law-abiding shooters in this manner.

  54. Cannot vote for some reason, no poll buttons 🙁

  55. This is the same group that is attempting to connect shooting with pornography. They have been protesting outside Smiths and other retails stores, writing to pressure retail stores in discriminating against law-abiding shooters.

  56. Why has the YES button been removed?

  57. Is this poll closed?

  58. Well said ali. XX

  59. Frans if I want to eat game I will eat game! If I want to hunt I will hunt! Even if it means feckin spearing it!

  60. Without Grouse shooting the moorland's would perish. I've seen what happens first hand to moorland when its no longer shot over. The moorland keeper's and vital management goes with it. You only have to look at the Staffordshire Moorlands near to Leek. Once many years ago a premier grouse moor employing 7 keeper's. Owned by the Harper Crewe family, and now a desalet wilderness. It's got to be s yes every time.

  61. Perhaps readers might also like to sign the E-petition ( in the UK ) aimed at applying more control to upland grouse shoots and all gamekeepers. see ref

    Thank you, John Armitage.

  62. yes, let it continue.

  63. yes, let it continue.

  64. Hardly a fair poll I have tried to vote several times but it fails. I take it only selective votes are counted

  65. Charlie Taylor -my hair dye is not tested on animals- I am vegan. Tim Giddy- I do not impose my will, I judge murder and hypocrisy. Mathew Lightfoot- Sad state of affairs if birds are shot- that's intensive and unnecessary, lazy farming.If we all went vegan the livestock would die out and wouldn't exist. Alan Simpson- I'm not having children but can assure you that if I did I would do my very best for them to be educated, independent and kind. Ian Foster- Nothing hypocritical about what I said, live and let live for all life is obviously anti murder. Roman- I studied Ecology, Brain, Behaviour & Environmental Studies in a Global Political Context at Uni, I'm vegan, an activist, give money to charities, own land and many animals, I live in the countryside…my whole life is dedicated to wildlife, ecology and the likes. Calem- Your life maybe transient, I'm making the most of mine and going out fulfilled, loved, loving and guilt free. Another life may not be precious to you but it is damn precious to the individual that it belongs to- I don't believe another has the right to take that life from them. Sad that some of you people appear to have no empathy or sympathy, I feel everything unfortunately but then if I were numb I'd never be whole.

  66. You have absolutely no idea about do you. It's because of ignorant insular people like you with pink hair that our country is on its knees. Back to your uni now to study art ( thankfully no longer solely at the tax payers expense. )

  67. Read Clifton gun club's comments and consider the given facts. The consider your ignorant comments Meredith about live and let live and what hope do our kids hav

  68. 1. Keeping songbirds in cages of about 1 cubic foot is an utter abomination, yet no one ever seems to say so. Battery-farming of chickens and eggs is another abomination but, again, no one ever seems to say so. The same goes for intensive farming of any livestock. Cock-fighting is, arguably, more natural and less objectionable than caging birds and battery-farming. But cock-fighting involves human diversion (and betting tut-tut) and so does grouse-shooting involve human diversion. Cock-fighting continues as a legal pursuit in many countries (including parts of France). Grouse-shooting, nowadays, results in food and not mountains of rotting corpses. It is, apparently, not cruel and uncivilized when a Townie tucks in to a veal escalope in a Covent Garden Trattoria, because no one sees the deadpan eyes and silent agony of a boxed-up young, beast. Enjoying the hunt for wild food is in our human souls and, overall, a healthy pursuit for man and bird and beast. After all, a wild creature has, at least, a chance of escape, unlike some castrated ox waiting, dumbly in-line for the stun-gun. However, there is a Tin-Hitlerism abroad in the world to stifle human enjoyment and to control other people. Grouse-shooting is as a good an excuse as any!
    2. Perhaps the use of 'who' to refer to the 'victims' of moorland management points to the attempted anthropomorphization of lesser creatures. Maybe, before we have even yet more laws to constrain alleged unacceptable personal behaviour towards wild birds and animals, there should be some attempt to enforce the criminal laws against street thugs and violent, criminally neglectful parents: ''The proper study of mankind is man''.
    3.There are, already, plenty of environmental laws and laws relating to the protection and conservation of natural phenomena and they should be enforced but where is the justification for even more.
    4. Right so – burning moorland has the same effect as setting fire to the Amazon Rainforest – maybe that suggestion speaks for itself to anyone with two brain-cells to rub together.
    5. The suggestion is that grouse can overburden the landscape – so it must be right, then, to cull them.
    6. There is, apparently, a boom and bust in grouse populations. The Amer-Indians probably wish that they could see a boom to balance their perpetual bust.
    7. Lead shot is controlled over wetlands, where it can have an impact. Lead is, however, a naturally-occurring mineral – and what proof is there that lead shot over moorland does any harm at all.
    8. The observance and enforcement of statute law cannot be a legitimate cause of complaint.

  69. yes, let it continue.

  70. Why are people from outside the UK being asked to vote?, it sounds like the European Parliament trying to enforce their wishes upon the UK, Again. Anyway, yet again some people can’t or won’t see the benefit to all the other wildlife that is nurtured on these grouse moors, and it’s not just the realm of the well healed any more, just think of all the other livelihood’s that depend on this SPORT.

  71. Some of u want to look at your own comments & have a serious rethink. Large estates & shoots manage land very well & effectively to which many of u will drive through, camp/caravan in or just generally enjoy without even knowing that the land is shot over through the game season. How or why do u think its kept like it is? It’s down to land management & looking after/creating habitat, which many creatures enjoy not just grouse. If there weren’t any shoots then there would be no grouse as its only through land management & creating/keeping the right habitat that they will survive & the numbers will keep rising. This in turn provides u lot with a lot of nice countryside for u to enjoy.
    I’ve read several comments saying that the grouse are bred purely for shooting. They are a wild bird, not reared & their numbers are carefully monitored & only certain numbers shot to make sure there is enough to sustain a healthy population. Totally free range, had a life & many many birds don’t get shot. Can I just ask one question, what are u all going to have for ur Sunday dinner? Roast chicken, lucky if it’s even 12 weeks old before its been slaughtered & will certainly never have seen sunlight let alone the country. Pork, beef,…u name it they’re all bred purely for food, some better than others but they’re all bred & all killed. How do u think ur turkey is made available for ur Xmas dinner? Because it’s reared & then slaughtered, & a hell of a lot of them aren’t free range either. So get off your high horses & have a long look at what u do & eat before u start slagging grouse shooting off & shooting as a hole. What is shot is eaten as food, same as it has been for centuries.

    Roll on October 1st…..phessie season

  72. Maria Denise You fool, I pity you!

  73. If the birds arnt bred in the way they are and shot as they have been for centuries then to supply demand they will be farmed in the way hens are so which would you prefer?! Stop killing off coutryside jobs and activities they are an important part of countryside maintenance!!

  74. Sad..that you can pleasure from murder!

  75. Implying that proponents of hunting are all about money and the "sport" of it is very misleading. Showing a hunter pointing the gun at the reader doesn't seem very "civilized" to me…

  76. Here ,here Gemma, I will drink too that …

  77. Jo McCarthy Hmmmmmm, thought that all seemed a bit suspicious having just read through various comments! I'd like to vote on this but can't seem to work out where to place my vote, can someone please assist. many thanks, A.

  78. Meredith, what have you done personally to help wildlife or ecology??

  79. Shooters spend millions p.a on conservation , a brace of grouse sell for around £140 to shoot so land owners obviously want to see them flourish not diminish , paa fluffy townies , anyway vote is a biased fix , http://www.basc.org.uk/en/media/key_issues.cfm/cid/D7D309F6-AD09-463A-A5FC75FF87A45C67.

  80. How can you start a sentence with live and let live then go on to say people shouldn't hunt. Hypocrite.

  81. I think Rachel Carrie is right, we need to stop directing traffic to their site. They are obviously muppets!!!!

  82. Funny that isn't it lol.

  83. Steven, thank you for your post but please get your facts straight. " the gamekeeper will only release a number of birds that the area can support" Grouse are not released by the gamekeepers it is impossible to bred them in captivity. They are 100% wild birds that bred in the wild.

  84. I did a year HNC course in gamekeeping and I can tell all the opponents of grouse shooting that without grouse shooting we would NOT have the numbers of grouse that we have. I read the opponents views on grouse numbers crashing due to strongylosis, but this is more about the weather conditions. When the weather is wet the strongyle worm thrives due to it being able to climb the heather stalks therefore allowing the grouse to injest the worm during feeding therefore starting the cycle over again.
    A heather moor is burnt in strips to create a habitat of fresh heather for birds to feed with heather also being left unburnt to create nesting areas for all other birds as well as grouse.

  85. David, I guess you must be one of the hackers who added more than 600 spam votes. The rules of the poll are one vote per person but you obviously don't play by the rules.

  86. Should read "does the same thing", not "dies". Just a typo.

  87. There's nothing wrong with predator control. You're controlling predators, not eradicating them, and it benefits rarer ground nesting birds. The RSPB does it on its own reserves for similar reasons. Nature doesn't find its own balance because we are not talking about a fully natural ecosystem. Nothing in the British countryside is "natural" anymore.

  88. No, grouse shooting should not be banned at all.

    1. Shooting has higher welfare standards than most meat you buy in the shops, so no meat eater can oppose shooting.
    2. It is illegal to kill any raptor and almost no one does that anymore. Predator control of non protected species is perfectly sustainable. The RSPB dies the same thing on its reserves, but no one complains about that.
    3. There is nothing wrong with a heather rich environment. It provides habitat for many species, not just grouse.
    4. The argument about burning peat is nonsense and is based on no evidence. Heather burning burns the vegetation, not the peat. Heather needs peat, and the grouse need heather, so why would gamekeepers destroy the very same peat which their livelihood relies on?
    5 and 6. Parasites can cause a cycle of boom and bust. This also happens naturally.
    7. There is no evidence that lead shot is damaging to wildlife outside of wetlands. Lead shot has been banned for use over wetlands for years.
    8. Such restrictions to public access usually amount to restrictions on dogs and keeping to paths during the breeding season. What's unreasonable about that? It's not unreasonable, it's common sense.

    There is nothing wrong with shooting. It is a legitimate sport and provides a free range, healthy and environmentally friendly meat. More environmentally friendly than most meat you find in the shops.

  89. Animals are routinely slaughtered by law abiding citizens and shipped to supermarkets by law abiding citizens which are then purchased by law abiding citizens. It's called the food chain

  90. This definitely “hunting”. Tough work, but well worth the effort. Long may it continue and contribute to the survival of the Red Grouse in the U.K.

  91. Golden Eagles aren't pests buddy!

  92. Irelands red grouse have had decades of decline until recently, with loss of upland habitat through monoculture, over grazing lack of predator control , sheep fencing, no burning and misguided land management policies. The reason they are on they are on the way back and now there are over 50 Grouse projects with 85,000 acres under project control , run by shooters and gun clubs.
    Plain and simple. Our parks and wildlife services are copping on to this as well, as the sites that are "keepered" have more birds, mountain hare and other native upland birds. They are now looking at the traditional upland management practices and taking them on ie native breeds of livestock and burning patches of heather.
    Ban grouse shooting and you would be where we were in two generations.I have the game book records from this area and it is proven fact.

  93. Stoats, weasels foxes, crows, birds of prey. not pests;just native wild animals, living their lives.

  94. To me this poll confirms the tremendous lack of knowledge to wildlife management in the real world. Sustainable hunting and shooting is conservation.
    As someone mentioned earlier, if the Grouse shooting is banned – who will have interest in moorlands and the Grouse? – not the “Townies” they have forgotten all about it in just a few moments – it is so sad!
    Hunters generally harvest the surplus of game only. It is a historic fact, that modern day hunting is conservation – it is proven in Africa, Europe, Asia and America – I really dont understand why conservationists can’t see that – Hunters loves nature and the wildlife and has all reasons to conserve it.
    Most people voting against in this poll – doesn’t really know anyting about hunting.
    Let me quote a few native american sayings:
    Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins
    When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard. – Lakota Indian.

    • Typical animal killers excuse. You manage nothing, you just like firing missiles into living flesh

  95. Impact of mankind on the planet was a phrase I heard on the TV this morning together with the information that 1 in 10 animals are threatened with extinction 60% of British species are in decline. The hunting and shooting community try to redress the balance in an environment that man destroys. We try to stop the rot of green space being eroded by developers. Pushing wildlife into every decreasing areas where there is no longer enough green space to sustain them. We feed a lot of wildlife when we feed our birds.


  97. Yep. We visited some of the moors where the shooting happens. They are very well managed and maintained. Best to keep it under control and open than force it underground.

  98. 1 Its not just sport the birds shot go into the food chain for human consumption, they are classed as free range a lot better than being battery farmed chicken.
    2 Dose not most major wildlife groups and charities trap and shoot pest to promote the species they wish to encourage? The killing of birds of prey is illegal in the UK and if you have any evidence then it should be reported the local police wildlife unit.
    3 If the Heather was not controlled then it would through a natural process change to scrubland and then on to forest, thus losing a very rare habitat.
    4 Are farmed cattle the biggest producer of carbon? the burning produces fresh shoots which benefit lots of wildlife such as insects and then birds and animals that feed on them.
    5 There is no population boom of grouse, the gamekeeper will only release a number of birds that the area can support, they would not want to create problems with overcrowding and the onset of pests and diseases.
    6 Population boom and bust is a natural evolution of wildlife all over the world. Ie the Vole population rises and then the population of a species such as the Barn Owl rises, then when the Vole population crashes then the Barn Owl follows.
    7 Lead is only toxic if it is ingested, only waterfowl have been shown to pick it up to aid in the digestion of food. There will not be many waterfowl feeding on upland moorland unless you have a body of water there.
    8 Conservation and wildlife groups use the same Countryside and right of way acts to stop people from going on certain areas during the breeding season to protect all types of wildlife. Also as shooting is taking place common sense and heath and safety should tell you some areas may be restricted?

  99. 1)Killing birds for sport is cruel and uncivilised.

    That is narrow minded. The enjoyment comes from being out in the countryside. Or is it more civilised to buy meat from a shop where someone has done the killing for you?

    2)A large number of native birds and mammals who interfere with grouse shooting are trapped, poisoned? or snared. Victims include stoats, weasels, and even iconic raptors such as hen harriers, red kites and golden eagles.

    The predator numbers are reduced legally which helps many wildlife species thrive. The predators which do survive have an abundant food supply and will be healthier for it. Killing of raptors isn't legal or condoned.

    3) An unnatural, heather-rich environment is created because the grouse thrive on young heather shoots. To create fresh young shoots, the heather is burned, which can harm wildlife and damage the environment.
    The burning of heather, reports an expert, ‘threatens to release millions of tonnes of carbon locked into the peat bogs underpinning the moors. Where burning occurs, the hydrology changes and the peat is open to decomposition and erosion. This strips the moor of carbon as surely as setting fire to the Amazon Forest.’ (Adrian Yallop, New Scientist magazine, 12 August 2006).

    A heather rich environment is a reason not to shoot grouse? It's one of Scotland's most iconic plants.. And you're really complaining about a small amount of smoke on a hill-side, when countries like syria are using chemical weapons?

    4) The harsh ‘management’ of moorlands causes grouse numbers to boom. But as they overburden the landscape.

    They 'overburden' the landscape? Really? And if the population was actually that astronomical, why would you have any issue with harvesting a few?

    5)Large quantities of lead shot are discharged, which is toxic to wildlife.

    You are talking about a minute amount of lead spread over a vast area. If birds 'were' to ingest the lead then I can't imagine it is good for their health. However, the overall amount is so small and spread over such a large area, that the effects are negligible.

  100. An ecosystem rarer that the rain forests would be lost if it weren’t for grouse moors. It has been proved time and again that a grouse moor supports far more wildlife than unmanaged open hill. It is an ill-informed public perception, so for removed from any country roots, that is the greatest threat to our beloved countryside, not grouse shooting.

  101. Hunting shooting and fishing are the mainstay of country life and the whole countryside would deteriorate with out them as is seen with the fox poulation now scouring dustbins in towns and cities KEEP the country side alive keep hunting

  102. Keep our heritage alive!

  103. Andrea, read my reply again, I am not alienating anyone, but it's a fair bet the townies would be the first to vote against anything that we do in the countryside, as they have done so many times in the past.

  104. They have a point…why should we be using skill and technique, and pay a lot of money, to harvest a free range meat, when we could factory farm at a fraction of the cost. Then there would be no need for heather management, predator control, general conservation work which benefits rare species, and we wouldn't have to pay tax on the millions of pounds country sports bring to rural areas every year.

  105. Robert Richards Not 'Townies' voting against Grouse shooting, many shoot grouse, many more eat grouse, myself included so lets stop alienating our fellow shooters and game eaters

  106. Ahhh – you must mean BEFORE HUGE swaths of moorland was reclaimed for intensive farming and an ever expanding population of humans? ANY l;and managed for shooting provides a benefit for wildlife. Read the article itself! It states that "gamekeeping provides a habitat rich environment that grouse thrive on"!

  107. Meredith Knight Nice hair dye….how many animals do you think were tested on before it was deemed safe for you to use?

  108. The last survey carried out by the RSPB reveal that the last full population survey recorded 500 pairs of hen harriers in Scotland – a stronghold of grouse shooting. They have also reported that there are NO hen harriers breeding in the rest of the English uplands (the non-grouse moor bits, including their own nature reserves!!). So Ban Grouse shooting and the habitat that is currently managed by the gamekeepers for the benefit of grouse shooting (and hence grouse) will not be managed, Grouse will not thrive as they are doing now and neither will the Hen Harriers. Loose shooting and you WILL loose a whole lot more!

  109. Interesting to read a few mis-informed, biassed opinions. Going off half cocked springs to mind and not really understanding the ‘whole picture’. Grouse shooting along with other forms of hunting in the countryside make it what it is. What you see now didn’t happen by accident. Its a well known fact that unmanaged land doesn’t mean a natural haven for wildlife. Countryside management to sustain livelihoods and communities through shooting allows many other flora and fauna to flourish, this being the rule opposed to the exception.

    I also find it distasteful to accuse people involved with shooting of killing protected species and using illegal methods to control vermin.

    This Poll should read ”8 mis-informed reasons to get involved with something you dont understand”.


  111. I Personaly think there is alot of people on here that need to do some research before commenting and voting. without continuous managment of moorland, predator control ect, these grouse would certainly not be thriving like they are now, along with other species of mammals and birds! These grouse are WILD native birds, and in my opinion they are better off now than ever before!

  112. Er …… Animals were Gods first attempts before he settled on humans. His thinking was, 'if it doesn't work out, at least the next lot will have something to eat'!

  113. what is natural about raising birds just so they can be shot? Hunting is natural, grouse shooting isn't.

  114. I object to the attitude towards townies. Not everyone who lives in the town does it through choice, and not everyone who lives in the country knows the difference between a rook and a wren. I am not a townie and I do know the difference. Politeness doesn't cost anything.


    • Who wants to exterminate grouse? Its certainly not hunters or gamekeepers as they are the VERY people actively maintaining the habitat so that the grouse can flourish. After all, who would want to go for a day grouse shooting if the grouse were all exterminated?

  116. Frightens and disgusts me that some of those people breed, what chance have their kids got. They create and cause such a massive waste of life and without life what is there


  118. Live and let live. Why do some humans feel it necessary to hunt for 'fun' or prove their supremacy? Either way it shows a complete disregard for fellow life. Go vegan and be at peace with yourself and all. Murder for greed, fun or ego is weak, shallow and of low mentality.

  119. Grouse are raised for the sole purpose of being shot by the idle rich. These vile, despicable social parasites should be returned to the dark ages where they belong.

    • Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about, allow me to educate you. Grouse are not bred or raised. They are wild birds! The moorland that they NEED to survive is managed by gamekeepers. Without gamekeeprs the grouse will not survive. You have just proved how people like yourself with no understanding of how these things work are a danger to the very wildlife that they are trying to protect.

    • Idle rich?
      I work 50 hours a week & earn less than a junior civil servant, so I’m neither, yet I shoot grouse, pheasant, deer, rabbits & other animals, most of which I eat.
      Those animals have a far more natural existence than beef cattle, sheep & pigs that put meat in the supermarkets.

      If you are a vegetarian, consider this:
      Rabbits are too, as are deer & without their numbers being restricted, you wouldn’t have any vegetables to eat

      • Ok then, raised to be shot. It matters not one jot how rich or poor the toss pots are that are shooting them. Meat eaters eat more vegetables than Vegetarians ever do but only because they are used to fatten up the animals ready for slaughter. Not Veggie but Vegan actually. Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you but contrary to popular belief, animal rights activists do have lives 🙂

  120. nature manages to find balance in its own way, why must humans interfere?

  121. No grouse shooting, no grouse. Who would spend the money managing the heather, controlling the pests etc.

  122. There is an argument to put back the start of the season to allow late hatched birds to be fully developed but as for banning grouse shooting such a short sighted proposal. As with any sporting quarry if there is no reason to maintain its habitat then we will loose this habitat and every species that relys on it will suffer not to mention the massive financial impact on the communities that rely on its revenue. If there are issues that need to be addressed then these should be raised not a moronic response of BAN IT, field sports will always be an emotive subject but its very real benefits to the ecology on which it is based go far beyond personal disapproval

  123. If grouse shooting stops then so too does the careful moorland management that goes with it! The result of which would be devastating to the species. The loss to the rural economy would also be devastating

  124. A bunch of barbarians shooting birds for fun in this day and age. It must stop.

  125. At the very least the destruction of all the predatious species should cease or else the locals will find themselves being over-run by much worse pest-species whom the predators also control… like rats.

  126. John, surely "Grouse Shooting" is just as cruel and inhumane as "Fox Hunting"? Since the latter was made illegal, don't you think that there is also a case for a complete ban on "Grouse Shooting"?

  127. First off. Fox hunting still continues and if its not foxes people are blaming its the badgers. Also would people feel better if all the poultry was battery farmed? I much prefer to buy my food locally produced and even shot rather than going to the high street supermarket to get my mass-produced chemical injected food. We could also just tarmac the heather fields; this would save having to burn them back. These animals are breed for such an occasion also I find it very distasteful to name and try and slander a Grouse Keeper in an article about Opposing Grouse Shooting.

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