Thousands of mountain hares face annual slaughter


Campaigners call for end to cull of the animals 

1st August 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Renewed calls to end the cull of mountain hares has been made by a leading animal welfare group.

From today, 1 August, the open season on mountain hares begins and runs until 28 February, with thousands of the animals killed by gamekeepers to make way for the for grouse shooting while others are shot for sport.

Campaign group OneKind, said freedom of information figures released last year revealed that an average of 26,000 mountain hare are killed a year in Scotland, with numbers reaching an all-time high in 2014 when 37,681 were killed.

Bob Elliot, Director of OneKind said: “The first minister has been clear that the culling of mountain hares is not acceptable, yet once again the killing season has begun. It’s time to say enough is enough to the routine shooting of hares by gamekeepers managing their land for red grouse shooting and by hunting parties for the thrill.

“We need to ensure this year’s open season on mountain hares is the last and call on the Scottish Government to put an end to the large-scale culling of this beautiful animal.”

OneKind has long campaigned for an end to large-scale culling of mountain hares in Scotland, and so far over 19,000 people have signed an open letter from OneKind to the Scottish Government to put an end to this brutal slaughter.

 Last month, the organisation also welcomed a proposal by Alison Johnstone MSP for a Protection and Conservation of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill that would give full protection to wild hares by licensing all control.

She said: “We need to ban the mass killing of Scotland’s hares. The voluntary restraint urged by the government’s nature agency has proved inadequate.

“My proposed bill would protect brown and mountain hares, ensuring that they could only be killed as a last resort.

“The consultation on my bill is open for another six weeks and I’d urge everyone who is interested to respond and help shape the final bill.”