New poll shows 71% of Scots are opposed to predator control on grouse moors

The Scottish Green Party is to table an emergency motion this week (Wednesday) declaring Scotland to be in a ‘wildlife emergency’, a position which the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland says will be overwhelmingly supported by the public.

The motion will be part of the party’s debate on the environment, which will call for legislation to enable a full nature recovery by 2045. The Greens are also calling for an end to unsustainable land management practices on driven grouse moors.

The League has released new polling ahead of the debate which shows 71% of Scots who express an opinion oppose the use of predator control on grouse moors, which includes a majority being opposed in urban and rural areas and in all regions of Scotland.

Robbie Marsland, Director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland said: “Land managers employ a military-like campaign of predator control which systematically wipes out any species which could potentially threaten grouse to ensure maximum supplies of the game bird to be shot for entertainment. As if this is not bad enough, around 40% of the animals killed are non target species such as hedgehogs, badgers and even domestic pets. It comes as absolutely no surprise the public is overwhelmingly opposed to this war on wildlife.”

A recent League report, Calculating Cruelty, estimated that up to a quarter of a million animals are killed each year to sustain the grouse shooting industry. A sport which seven in ten people in Scotland are opposed to.

Robbie Marsland added: “The Scottish Greens are absolutely right to declare Scotland in a wildlife emergency and the League fully supports this along with calls to end the environmentally damaging practices of driven grouse moor management which subsequently include the destruction of wildlife. No one in their right mind can justify the killing of hundreds of thousands of wild animals simply to protect another species which will be killed for sport.

“The circle of destruction which surrounds grouse moors has to be broken before it’s too late and the damage to our wildlife and our environment is irreparable.”

The Scottish Government is expected to publish its response to the Grouse Moor Management Group’s review of management practices, led by Professor Werritty this month.

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Notes to editor

  1. The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).
  2. This survey was commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports and was designed by Diffley Partnership,
  3. Data was collected online among a sample of the ScotPulse online panel throughout Scotland, representative of the Scottish population,
  4. Survey invitations were sent on 7th October, with results analysed on 12th October
  5. A total of 1364 complete responses were received
  6. Results are weighted to the Scottish population by gender and age.
  7. Calculating Cruelty can be downloaded here.

Media enquiries to Louise Robertson on 07930 539832 / [email protected]