POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue?

POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue?

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In a few weeks it will be 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.

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
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.

“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 Shooting be allowed to continue?

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Now that you’ve voted, please sign the petition:

Ban driven grouse shooting

Don’t delay! Do it today.


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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Gregg Hill
Gregg Hill

Without shooting, the moors would die…they are a very important habitat for many species of bird and mammals, insects and plants…most of which are protected by law and are guarded well by gamekeepers.

no charity could do the work that gamekeeping involves. Fact.


How is it cruel ? the birds are reared naturally , free range and a sustainable harvest is taken, the management of the moorlands benefits rare waders, mammals and plants. Whereas farmed cattle, pigs, sheep are unnaturally reared, slaughtered en masse in horrifying factory slaughterhouses and the management of land for their benefit causes habitat loss , degredation of land and few benefits for wildlife, Tell me what is the difference between killing and eating lamb and killing and eating grouse,pheasant etc?

Roger Burton

Yes but it's not about slaughter (what an emotive term) but harvesting a managed surplus just like the annual crop of lambs.

Keith Birchall

totally agree get the kids out hunting for there food instead of hunting zombies on computer games

David Pitbladdo
David Pitbladdo

50% of all farmed food gets dumped one way or another. So before people get on this "slaughter" band wagon first look at their kitchen bins and ask themselves if they respected the meat that has been binned because it is out of date or gone past it's sell by date. Or just doesn't look right. You have the good and the bad in everything. But I would be more than happy to say that the high majority of those that shoot whatever animal, respect that animals life better than those that eat farmed animals that get killed so that… Read more »

UB Falconry
UB Falconry

Victoria Sears Long walk up a mountain to find that source of food..

Victoria Sears

Great sport, great eating, and try Ptarmigan too if you get the chance, longer higher walk and so worth it. The best days shooting ever. Vx

UB Falconry
UB Falconry

your all off your rockers.. grouse shooting and everything that goes with it is first class.. the management , the shooting . and the people involved!!! Ban television, radio, music , and all the other crap you lot listen too. and get out in the country side and stop breeding fat kids.. put a fishing rod in there hands for the first time. give them a air rifle and get them to put a bunny on the plate for supper….. hunting and the food that is presented from it does not come from tescos.. supermarkets should be banned. crap in… Read more »

Ken Billington

Lucie, you must be a British citizen or normally live in the UK to sign this e-petition. However, you can vote AGAINST the continuation of Grouse Hunting.

Lucie VeganforLove
Lucie VeganforLove

NO! what a disgrace! how come I can't sign the petition? because I am not British??

Nicholas Watts

When I visited Swaledale at the end of April it was full of wildlife. There was always the bubbling sound of Curlews and there plenty of Lapwings around. If that is what grouse shooting brings let it continue. We must remember that man simply by overcrowding this country has changed this country and if we just let nature take it's course all the Curlews and Lapwings will disappear as they already are doing except where land is keepered.

Alexandra Busato

NO it should be the end of this so called tradition. we don't need these old traditions in this new world

Meredith Lawrence
Meredith Lawrence

No – I've signed and shared the petition on Facebook and Twitter.

Mimmi H Ahlberg
Mimmi H Ahlberg

No, never

Giusy V Pacific


Beverly Dennis
Beverly Dennis

No! Hell no!

Leigh Lofgren

I have read both why this should continue and why it should be banned – sorry, but should not be continuing in this day and age.


The poll was a nonsense for two reasons. First of all it was worded in such a way that some people who don’t agree with grouse shooting may have misread the title and voted yes. Secondly, the poll was not scientific and therefore a random section of society was not asked. Those who voted yes are shooters and hunters. Their campaign to spread the word to gain pro shooting votes was well publicised on social media sites. Typical spin and contortion in a pathetic attempt to promote a cruel and needless sport.

Glenn Bartley

Pattie, only a few people are voting “yes” – most people are voting “no”. So how is is the wording confusing? I don’t understand what you are suggesting. Please advise.