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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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References:

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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