Campaigners gathered outside the Utility Week Awards this evening to highlight the cruelty of grouse shooting taking place on moorland managed by Yorkshire Water.

On the last day of the grouse shooting season, they held lit-up letters spelling out the message ‘YORKSHIRE WATER STOP SHOOTING’ as 1,400 guests arrived for the awards ceremony at Grosvenor House on Park Lane.

Supporters at the Yorkshire Water Utilities Conference protest

Chris Luffingham, Director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

“Grouse shooting is cruel with hundreds of thousands of ‘game’ birds literally being blasted out of the sky for fun every year. Many will simply be wounded and die in agony.

“Yorkshire Water needs to stop leasing out moorland to grouse shoots – there are much better ways that the land can be used which is friendly to both the wildlife and the environment.”

According to shooting industry statistics, 700,000 grouse are shot every year for ‘sport’ all over the UK.

Yorkshire Water manages 13 areas of moorland which it leases out to grouse shoots.

Will and Luke at the Yorkshire Water Utilities Award protest

Grouse shooting involves animal cruelty to the ‘game’ birds that are shot but also to the other wild animals eradicated by gamekeepers employed by the shoots. Foxes, stoats, weasels, and birds of prey such as hen harriers are all the victims of grouse shoots which kill these predators to maximise the red grouse population.

Environmental damage is also caused by the practice of burning moorland to create optimal conditions for the red grouse, but which pollutes the water supply and lowers the water table which can in turn cause flooding.

Recent polling by YouGov showed 69% of the public are opposed to the shooting of birds for ‘sport’.

Chris Luffingham, added:

“It’s time for Yorkshire Water to champion animals and to take its environmental responsibilities seriously.

“The ending of grouse shooting on Yorkshire’s moors will lead to a much greater biodiversity of species and will open up large passages of beautiful land and stunning landscapes for walkers and tourists.”

Supporters at the Yorkshire Water Utilities Conference protest

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

  • Attached is a photo of the grouse shooting protest outside the Utility Week Awards which was attended by Yorkshire Water.
  • For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected]
  • 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).