Inglorious Twelfth: grouse slaughter nothing to celebrate

Dead grouse cropped

Shooting industry causes to wildlife and the environment says animal rights charity

Graham Martin's photo

4th August 2017 by Graham Martin 1 Comment

The League Against Cruel Sports has condemned the annual celebration of grouse shooting known as the Glorious Twelfth.

It is using the start of the grouse shooting season on 12 August to highlight the damage the shooting industry causes to wildlife and the environment, in particular the persecution of birds of prey.

A recent report showed that a third of tagged golden eagles had died suspiciously in Scotland with the majority of cases being linked to areas being managed for grouse shooting.

Birds of prey pose a threat to valuable grouse stocks along with a number of other species including foxes and mountain hares which are thought to carry ticks which can spread disease among grouse chicks.

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: “The annual celebration of the start of the grouse shooting season is a ridiculous tradition which has long had its day.

“The Glorious Twelfth is a poor attempt to justify a bloodsport which is responsible for the mass killing of wildlife on an industrial scale as well as irreversible damage to the environment.”

Grouse moors are intensively managed to effectively wipe out any species which predate on or threaten grouse creating a false ecosystem which favours one species.

In addition to this the environmental damage caused by such intensive land management includes competition with native species and pollution from muirburn, which lowers the water table, causing the deep peat covering to dry out and release pollutants into rivers and carbon into the atmosphere.

Marsland added: “The majority of the public have absolutely no desire to take to the countryside with a lethal weapon to take pot shots at wildlife as part of an industry which is responsible for widespread damage including environmental destruction, wildlife persecution and increased flooding.

“The shooting industry is massively under-regulated and while our position is firmly in favour of a complete ban on driven grouse shooting in Scotland we support proposals to license shoots as an interim measure.”

Comments

6th August 2017 by Martin

The Grouse Season is indeed something to celebrate. The biggest single employer in the upland areas on North England and Scotland. In addition to this the land management of the moors has resulted in the rebirth of a number of native species. Finally, you have completely misquoted the report on golden eagles- grouse moors provide a stable food source of raptors and the hand working game keepers I know respect these magnificent lords of the sky.