Grouse Shooting: Far From Glorious
Posted 12th August 2022
Today is the glorious twelfth. It marks the beginning of grouse shooting season in the UK. But there’s nothing glorious about it.
Why not? Well… Did you know that during grouse shooting season, an average of 5,300 red grouse are shot every day?
Did you know that gamekeepers burn the landscape to create an environment for an unnaturally high number of grouse?
And did you also know that to ‘protect’ these grouse (which are later shot for sport) the ground is littered with snares and traps, and birds of prey are illegally killed? Grouse shooting is far from glorious. It’s animal cruelty and environmental degradation on an industrial scale. But as a great man once said, the times they are a changing.
Much of the grouse shooting across Yorkshire takes place on land owned by utility company Yorkshire Water, but thanks to a campaign run by the League Against Cruel Sports and local pressure group Wild Moors, the company has committed to assessing the grouse shooting licences it issues on its moors. This year Thornton Moor, near Bradford, is under review after its lease expired. The strength of feeling locally is obvious, as people have taken to the towns to join our rallies and written directly to Yorkshire Water to urge the company to end grouse shooting across its estate.
Further north, grouse shooting is also in the sights of the Scottish government thanks to the work of the Revive coalition.
Did you know that about half of Scotland's land is influenced and managed for sport shooting of which grouse shooting is a significant proportion?
Did you know that despite over-inflated claims of its economic benefit, grouse shooting contributes to only 0.02 percent of Scotland’s economy?
How about the shocking statistic that up to a quarter of a million animals are killed every year to in Scotland to ensure more grouse can be shot for sport? It’s killing to kill.
This summer, as the Scottish Government considers a grouse moor licencing scheme, the League-led Revive Coalition set up an exhibition at the Scottish Parliament. Presented in the style of 90s TV sensation Play Your Cards Right, the exhibition was design interact with and inform MSPs and their staff about the ‘circle of destruction’ which currently surrounds the grouse shooting industry. After playing the game, MSPs were left with a juxtaposition of facts - the large number of animals killed on grouse moors next to the paltry economic contribution of this destructive industry. According to feedback we and Revive got from the MSPs, the exhibition was a fresh and exciting approach to presenting information.
Progress is being made across the UK to end driven grouse shooting. Like the snares laid across the countryside, the truth of the matter is closing in on the industry: it is outdated, it is unpopular, it is cruel. And it is far from glorious.
Ban Grouse Shooting Rally in Hebden Bridge