Following an exposé of the slaughter of mountain hares in the Highlands, charities have released further evidence of the shocking reality of grouse moor management in Scotland.

OneKind and the League Against Cruel Sports released yesterday (Monday 14th May) new footage which shows another part of the brutal management regime used by gamekeepers to eradicate wildlife that might otherwise prey on grouse.

The shocking footage shows dead animals piled up and hanging from trees surrounded by snares in what is known as a stink pit.


Stink pits, also known as middens, are usually created by gamekeepers using the carcasses of wild animals and birds. The smell of the decomposing corpses is intended to lure foxes in, and snares, which are set around the perimeter of the stink pit, catch the animals as they approach. The fox is then killed and usually added to the stink pit.

Stink pits are used to kill foxes so that there are more birds available for sport shooting. Specifically, red grouse on grouse moors, and partridges and pheasants elsewhere. The footage released today shows a stink pit at the edge of a grouse moor where a large-scale mountain hare cull was also filmed earlier this year.

OneKind Director Harry Huyton said:

“This grim scene of dead animals being treated with so little respect says much about the attitude to wildlife on intensive grouse moors. Stink pits have no place in the Scottish countryside and they should be banned, but much more is needed if we are to end the widespread persecution of native wildlife on the moors. The Scottish Government urgently needs to face up to this problem.”

Director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, Robbie Marsland added:

“Not only do stink pits stink but they blight Scotland’s hills simply to ensure that more grouse can be killed for entertainment.”

"Intensive management of grouse moors creates an unnatural ecosystem which favours one species which is bad enough, but in addition it effectively closes off sections of the the countryside to the public by creating scenes which wouldn't look out of place in a horror film."