10th of December marks the end of another grouse shooting season.
Yet again, throughout 2017, there were numerous wildlife crime incidences on and near England’s grouse moors, including the systematic and illegal persecution of our protected Buzzards, Peregrines, Goshawks, Red Kites, Marsh Harriers, Short-eared Owls, Ravens and Hen Harriers.
The Mountain Hare is still slaughtered in large numbers on grouse moors; gas guns are still used near nesting birds; and there was another mass shooting of nesting Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on a Lancashire grouse moor (Abbeystead Estate). Grouse shooting for 'sport' depends on intensive habitat management, such as heather burning, which increases flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions, and the widespread and unregulated use of toxic chemicals to ‘control pests’ on Red Grouse.
Stink pits, snares and various traps litter grouse moors - gamekeepers set these traps to kill our upland predators, just so there are more Red Grouse to shoot. Many ‘by-catch’ victims have been found in traps on grouse moors, including Mountain Hares, Badgers, Deer, Cats, Water Vole, Red Squirrel, Pine Martins, Dippers Ring Ousel and Red Grouse.
Much of the game shooting industry are still in complete denial about the scale of raptor persecution and other wildlife crimes on grouse moors, and argue that licensing would be an unnecessary and unwelcome ‘threat’. Enough is enough. We think grouse shooting is economically, ecologically and socially unnecessary, and that a driven grouse shooting ban is the only way forward for upland reforms.