Campaigners rally to protect mountain hares


Activists will gather outside Holyrood on Thursday to call for an end to culling and hunting the species

14th November 2016 by Gavin Stuart 20 Comments

Animal rights campaigners will gather outside the Scottish Parliament on Thursday to call for an end to the culling and hunting of mountain hares.

The mass lobby has been organised by animal charity OneKind in support of greater protections for the species which it says is subject to “unacceptable” levels of persecution.

According to the charity, tens of thousands of the creatures are killed each year despite the species having conservation status in Scotland.

OneKind said culls and hunts are not licensed in Scotland, so it is impossible to know exactly how many hares are killed each year.

The commercial interests of large sporting estates must not be allowed to trample over the conservation of highly valued wildlife

However, the charity estimates 25,000 were killed in 2006/7, thought to be between 5-14% of the total population. As well having a potentially significant impact on their population, serious welfare concerns arise over the scale and nature of the killing.

OneKind director Harry Huyton said: "The mountain hare is an iconic species in Scotland and the scale of persecution these creatures are subjected to is needless and completely inexcusable.

"OneKind is calling on the Scottish Government to provide more stringent protection for hares as an urgent priority, starting with a complete ban on hunting and culling in national parks.

"We hope politicians from all parties will attend the mass lobby on Thursday to hear the arguments in favour of greater protection of the hare and listen to their constituents’ views on this important animal welfare issue." 

Scottish Greens MSP Alison Johnstone, species champion for the mountain hare, will speak at the rally.

She said: “The reports we've heard of mass culls of mountain hares, and the photos we’ve seen are deeply disturbing. The commercial interests of large sporting estates must not be allowed to trample over the conservation of highly valued wildlife.

"I hope Thursday's rally outside Parliament helps put pressure on the Scottish Government to introduce greater protection for mountain hares, starting with a ban on culls in national parks.

“To date the government's agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, has been ineffective in challenging applications for culls. The evidence is clear that culling hares does nothing to help the environment; it's simply about an industry trying to maximise profits."

15th November 2016 by Kim Creasey

Please stop killing the hares for goodness sake

15th November 2016 by Real Freedom

Please stop killing the cows which make your steaks for goodness sake

15th November 2016 by Christine harger

Please stop!!!

15th November 2016 by Carole Coote

What on earth are you doing allowing the culling of hares. Does wildlife have to be sacrificed in the self interest of hunters and other self interest groups. Shame on you.

15th November 2016 by Margaret Bradshaw

Appalling practice as is fox hunting and badger culling

15th November 2016 by Douglas Fox

This cull is both cruel and unnecessary. Hares are becoming rare and this slaughter is wrong.

15th November 2016 by Irene Francis

What have hares done to suffer this persecution? I really would like to know. Answers please.

15th November 2016 by Shirley de Silva

Respect,nurture and live in harmony with all fellow creatures,overcome the primitive desire to kill and evolve into a compassionate species. Make the right choice.

15th November 2016 by Val Knowles

Enough is enough. If this carries on, there will be no wildlife left.

15th November 2016 by Michelle Canciani

Barbaric. Stop it now!

15th November 2016 by Debbie Hollis

Stop the cull!!!!

15th November 2016 by Chris Adam Smith

This cull must cease.

15th November 2016 by Sam Medlicott

No unessciary killing

16th November 2016 by Mike Wright

Please stop this.

16th November 2016 by ELIZABETH THOMAS

Leave our wildlife alone.

16th November 2016 by Fiona Cowie

Totally unnecessary. Leave the hares alone.

16th November 2016 by Alan Stimson

I assumed that clicking on this would take me to a petition page.

16th November 2016 by S Phillips


16th November 2016 by L.Murphy

This is absolutely BARBARIC and must stop!! What is wrong with humans who get so much pleasure in KILLING.

18th November 2016 by Audrey

Mountain hares are an absolute delight and bring joy to any child lucky enough to see one in the outdoors. To slaughter them is an international crime against civilization. OneKind - what other concrete action (through the courts, through the International Wildlife Commission etc) can be taken? Everyone who cares about the planet, all worldwide environmental and wildlife charities, need to work together as one NOW to ensure our policitians are listening.