Fury over VisitScotland’s links to mountain hare slaughter

Mountain hare cropped

Tourism agency has granted £36,675 to an organisation offering shooting holidays

31st July 2017 by Gavin Stuart 15 Comments

An organisation which promotes mountain hare shooting holidays has received more than £30,000 from Scotland’s national tourism agency, a charity has revealed.

A report for OneKind named 25 companies providing hare shooting in Scotland, eight of which are promoted by the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (SCSTG).

The SCSTG website lists government agencies VisitScotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) as partner organisations. OneKind said SCSTG has received grants worth £36,675 from VisitScotland in the last five years.

One company, Mirani Hunting, used an image of hunters standing by the carcasses of dozens of hares to promote its services on VisitScotland.org. 

It’s simply not appropriate for government agencies to actively promote the large-scale recreational killing of native wildlife

Another, Viscount Sporting, offered a day’s shooting of 80-100 hares for groups of nine for £4,200.

Both webpages have been removed following enquiries relating to OneKind’s report.

Mountain hare shooting is one of many country sports offered by Scottish game estates, and grouse moor managers also organise culls of the animals in an effort to protect red grouse for sport shooting.

An estimate from an SNH study suggests that 25,000 mountain hares were killed in 2006/7. This is thought to be between 5-14% of the total population. Approximately 40% of those killed were shot for sport shooting, and 50% as part of organised culls.

OneKind is now calling on the Scottish Government to take urgent action and introduce a moratorium on large-scale hunts and culls before the season, which begins on 1 August, gets into full swing.

Director Harry Huyton said: “Mountain hares are an iconic species in Scotland that should be protected. Our report shows that instead they are persecuted in enormous numbers for entertainment. This killing is unregulated, and there are no guarantees that it is not further driving the decline of these species or causing unacceptable suffering.

 “I hope that Visit Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage share our surprise and displeasure with what we have revealed in our report.

“It’s simply not appropriate for government agencies to actively promote the large-scale recreational killing of native wildlife, and I am writing to both agencies today to ask them to remove their endorsement of the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group and businesses that offer these services.”

Comments

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31st July 2017 by Lesley Dickson

I object in the strongest terms to my money being used to support the killing of these beautiful, harmless animals for fun.

1st August 2017 by Deborah

Just found about about your promotion of killing large numbers of mountain hares. This really makes me think if I want to continue visiting Scotland while this continues. J

1st August 2017 by Hazel Taylor

This is absolutely disgusting! Scotland has so very much to offer, why resort to something as atrocious and barbaric as this??! I have just lost respect for Visit Scotland and will no longer follow their Facebook page; I will also seriously reconsider any future plans to visit Scotland. I am appalled ....... and quite frankly, disappointed.

1st August 2017 by ChrisKuykendall

That is awful!! hose people are crazy about money that they make poor animals suffer! I hate people! People are the most cruel creatures on the Planet, if they want to strike shooting holidays, then they should offer holiday of killing people for money. Stupid bastards!!! This world will sacrifice nature just to get money!Writer:https://www.writemyessay24h.net/

1st August 2017 by KimberlyNeeley

That is awful!! hose people are crazy about money that they make poor animals suffer! I hate people! People are the most cruel creatures on the Planet, if they want to strike shooting holidays, then they should offer holiday of killing people for money. Stupid bastards!!! This world will sacrifice nature just to get money!Writer: https://www.writemyessay24h.net/

1st August 2017 by Marie Markey

Just who do you think you are ?, idiots .

1st August 2017 by audrey philps

Please protect Scotlands beautiful Mountain Hares instead of so such Persecution, It really is putting a nasty big blot on Scotlands national heritage!

1st August 2017 by audrey philps

Please consider protecting these Beautiful Mountain Hares instead of allowing them to be persecuted! They are part of Scotland's Wildlife Heritage! but sadly, all that is happening, is you are adding a great big Blot , On anything Scottish!

1st August 2017 by Renee Byam

I have travelled to Scotland so many times (all the way from Essex) hoping to see mountain hare - have I ever seen one? NO! Now I know why! I won't ever use Visit Scotland again either to find accommodation or to search for wildlife info.

1st August 2017 by Gill Mitchell

I can hardly believe that VisitScotland could be complicit in the slaughter of these beautiful, defenceless mountain hares! What are they thinking of? I want my descendants to be able to see and enjoy wildlife but if these organisations have their way, there will be nothing left to see.

1st August 2017 by Anne Lindsay

This is my country and I want this to stop immediately. This is a disgusting practice and I want to know that Scottish National Heritage and Visit Scotland will do all they can to stop it.

2nd August 2017 by John Bryant

Pandering to people who think it is good fun to kill native wild animals, is outrageous and can only result in them regarding all wildlife as targets.

2nd August 2017 by Sharon

Shame on VisitScotland for giving more than £30,000 to an organisation that promotes mountain hare shooting holidays. This money should have been given to PROTECT the mountain hare, not to murder it for fun !! What is the money given for, to advertise these sick and perverted killing holidays? I will cross Scotland off on my holiday list. Hares are wonderful, creatures. No wonder the hare population is dwindling fast, thanks to idiots who give money to decimate these iconic animals. Boycott Scotland !! .

2nd August 2017 by Julie

This will put a lot of people off visiting Scotland because those of us who don't find it entertaining to blast wildlife to pieces prefer to shoot animals and birds with a camera not a gun. Bad decision to promote this hare slaughter.

4th August 2017 by Mary Ellis

I am disgusted that your Tourism agency is promoting the widespread killing of your wildlife. Come on Scotland you are better than this!