The reasons provided to support a ban on driven grouse shooting

You are a vegatarian or vegan   Few vegetarians and vegans have a wish to enforce their chosen lifestyle on anyone. It is odd to single out driven grouse shooting in a country that kills 700 million 32-day-old chickens each year and imports a similar number from as far away as Thailand.
 
You are against shooting wild birds for food on moral grounds   Campaigners are calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting (when those shooting stand in a line). This would not affect people shooting grouse in other ways (walking in line or over pointing dogs).
 
You are against the high densities of grouse that are produced for shooting   Banning grouse shooting because of high densities of grouse is no more logical than banning sheep farming because it creates high densities of sheep.
 
You are against the provision of medicated grit and the dosing of a wild bird to combat grouse disease   Gritting does not create any significant environmental problem. If it ever were demonstrated that this was an issue it could be speedily dealt by withdrawing medication rather than the destruction of a whole system of land management and hundreds of jobs in profoundly disadvantaged areas.
 
You are against the legal killing of foxes, stoats, mountain hares, crows, etc   Grouse shooters are not alone in killing predators. Others engaged in this activity are the RSPB, WWT, National Trust, many county Wildlife Trusts and if you include rats as predators, every local authority in the country.
 
You are against the killing of mountain hares where they are carrying high levels of ticks that transmit louping-ill   Ironically, the few mountain hares that remain in England were introduced from Scotland to provide sport. In Scotland, 80% of mountain hares live on grouse moors because they benefit from the predator control and habitat management undertaken by gamekeepers.
 
You dislike the reports of illegal persecution of birds of prey   Most keepers and moor owners are entirely law-abiding and deeply unhappy about any reported incidents of persecution. The ban would destroy them along with the guilty.
 
You would rather see more woodland in the English uplands   Upland woods were felled for fuel and timber hundreds of years before the shotgun was invented. Most of the non-native tree re-planting has been an environmental car crash. Today heather moorland is a much rarer habitat than woodland, and Britain holds 75% of its global amount.
 
You dislike the practice of burning heather   This practice is also used by the RSPB and National Parks to produce a patchwork mosaic of heather lengths that is known to boost a suite of moorland breeding birds. Golden plovers often nest on areas of burnt heather. Suggestions to cease burning small patches of heather in rotation have alarmed professional wildfire fighters. Heather left unmanaged would result in a significant build-up of wildfire risk.
 
You dislike access tracks on grouse moors   Heather managed by both rotational burning and moorland tracks are welcomed by the fire service as a highly effective way of decreasing the risk of devastating wildfires.
 
You believe grouse moors cause climate change   Grouse moors are in the process of restoring peatland which stores carbon. This reverses ill-conceived government policy in the 60s and 70s to drain the moors to increase moorland productivity for grazing livestock.
 
You dislike the colouration of the water   If grouse shooting was banned, heather would be left unmanaged, building up a huge wildfire risk. A wildfire can leave bare peat exposed, creating increased peat erosion, and it is dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in water, which causes discolouration.
 
You believe grouse moors lead to flooding   Floods are caused by extreme weather events on saturated ground, not by grouse shooting. If you want to stop flooding, banning the hard landscaping of cities and towns, especially the impervious surfacing of front gardens to park cars, would have a significant impact.
 
You dislike grants given to those managing moorland   Natural England makes payments to moor owners (including RSPB, National Trust, etc) for managing moors the way Natural England wants them managed for public good.
 
You dislike restrictions to moor access whilst shooting takes place   Public rights of way remain open 365 days a year on moorland. For safety, people can be asked not to wander off paths whilst shooting takes place. Open access moorland may also be closed to prevent disturbance to breeding birds, fire prevention, etc.
 
You are concerned by the risk of eating game shot with lead   Along with oily fish and tuna, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has advised that shot game should not be eaten more than twice a week. Clearly ammunition types could be switched rather than ban grouse shooting if the FSA risk assessment changes.
 
You feel that grouse shooting is anachronistic   The UK is full of anachronisms. We can buy a pint of beer; although we agreed to adopt the metric system 40 years ago. Clearly it is unreasonable to ban something just because you consider it anachronistic.
 
You feel that none of these things alone persuades you, but in combination they do   If not a single one of these reasons persuade you – why would they in combination? It is an understandable human response that those that lose patience on a combination of little things then decide to 'teach them a lesson'. This is the basis of bad law.

Cookie Policy

Our website uses cookies to provide you with a better online experience. If you continue to use our site without changing your browser settings, we'll assume you are happy to receive cookies. Please read our cookie policy for more information.

Do not show this message again