The future of grouse shooting to be debated in parliament on 21 June

2 minute read

On Monday 21 June politicians will be debating a petition launched by Chris Packham, Ruth Tingay and Mark Avery of Wild Justice, titled ‘Ban Driven Grouse Shooting - Wilful blindness is no longer an option.’

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If you’re getting déjà vu, don’t worry. The same thing happened in October 2016 when 21 MPs debated a similar petition, supported by Eduardo Gonçalves, then CEO of League Against Cruel Sports, and the TV presenters Chris Packham and Bill Oddie. In that debate, no MPs spoke in support of a ban and nine MPs cited GWCT science.

This time around we will be providing politicians and journalists with briefing documents in advance to ensure they have the facts to hand. We’ll also send them copies of our in-depth Peatland Report and The Moorland Balance, our 132-page book on the science behind moorland management citing 229 scientific papers.

We will also be following the debate live and looking out for any statements that stray from the facts. We did the same during the debate about moorland burning last November. When Olivia Blake MP asked, “Is the hon. Member aware of some the most recent research, which shows that 68% of wildfires in the higher uplands have actually been caused by so-called controlled cold fires?”, we studied the facts and found the claim to be misleading.

We have produced briefings on the key issues likely to be discussed:

You can also download all of these documents in one handy PDF here.

When the government first responded to this petition in September 2019, it stated that “Grouse shooting is a legitimate activity providing benefits for wildlife and habitat conservation and investment in remote areas …. The Government appreciates that many people hold strong views on the issue of driven grouse shooting. The Government considers that shooting activities bring many benefits to the rural economy and can in many cases be beneficial for wildlife and habitat conservation. We recognise that it is vital that wildlife and habitats are respected and protected and the law is respected. We will continue work to ensure a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship between shooting and conservation. The Government has no plans to ban grouse shooting”.

This response was labelled ‘pathetic and derisory’ by Chris Packham when the government invited him to discuss the petition with Kerry McCarthy MP, vice-president of the League Against Cruel Sports. In the conversation, which you can still watch on the government’s YouTube channel, McCarthy says there is ‘something quite unnatural’ about brood management, states that ‘it's no coincidence that at least one of the areas  where the petition attracted a lot of signatures was Calder Valley and that's been prone to flooding’ and reassures the TV presenter that ‘if we hadn't been cut short by the election, you may well have got more signatures.’

Hopefully there will be a more robust and evidence-led discussion soon. You'll be able to watch the debate live here.

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Grouse shooting

at 9:21 on 18/04/2021 by Chris king

Stop Grouse shooting and this iconic game bird will disappear,Packham and co are so eaten up with envy that our fantastic moorlands are a haven for many birds and Grouse because of shooting and the gamekeepers that look after it in a way they never could.Give upland moorlands to Packham and his fool’s and watch it die except for the crows that he loves so much leave in hands of the gamekeepers and see it flourish

Grouse shooting petition

at 18:41 on 17/04/2021 by mark yorke

Wild justice disseminate false and disonest information to thousands of the "box ticking" public.As a result they are amongst other things, making no positive contribution to the public,s knowledge and understanding of the Natural World.

Ban on driven grouse shooting

at 20:14 on 16/04/2021 by Arthur

Thank you Mr Gascogne for a balanced view on the issue. The trouble is Packham and his insidious crew seem to put their view across via the uninformed media better than we do. Trailing the average Joe public behind them . Arthur Branthwaite

Ban grouse shooting

at 19:14 on 16/04/2021 by Darran Bugden

Tingay packham and Avery are the biggest threat to our wildlife. Their single minded views are blinding the reality of their own destruction

Chris Packham

at 14:23 on 16/04/2021 by Jackie

That man just wants to stop all sports, if he gets to stop grouse he will move on to other shooting then fishing, he needs taking down a peg, I agree he is arrogant completely blind to any other people views, he’s not interested. I was brought up on Lord Derby’s estate in Cheshire and the whole village relies on the shooting season for income, The heather moors and upland moors would not be like they are today if it was not managed for game and wild birds need that habitat as it is to breed and thrive. If they stop it who is going to keep up all the work of managing the moors and wildlife habitats. Chris Packham will not once it’s done he will forget the moor and move onto his next pet project, leaving thousand without income and wildlife unmanaged.

The grouse Shooting Debate ……..

at 13:26 on 16/04/2021 by Alec Swan

What an interesting quote from Packham and his disciples; *-Wilful blindness is no longer an option….*. Yes, quite and the apparent ease with which REVIVE - Common Weal - Wild Justice - RP-UK and others ignore the simple fact that our Moorland environment has been moulded and formed and to the benefit of ALL wildlife as well as mankind, over centuries and how their only apparent wish is to tare down and ruin an existing, symbiotic and all but self supporting eco-culture, must leave anyone who isn't myopic, in total disbelief. - - - - (a fresh paragraph is needed). ALL of those groups listed are openly accepting and promoting to being of political intent. ALL of these groups are openly assuring the world that Grouse Shooting is only the thin end of the wedge and a route to the de-valueation of Moorland, and to the point where it will fall (fail) back in to public ownership. - - - - The simple fact is that they all and collectively shelter under the REVIVE umbrella, the political wing of Common Weal - - the time for laughing at them is over. - - - - The ambitions of Common Weal - research is easily achieved, is that they have at some point been heavily influenced by the writings of George Orwell. - - - - These attempts at the stopping of Grouse Shooting are an open attempt at the introduction of socialist indoctrination - and those are their words, not mine. - - - - Wildlife and environmental management are of no interest to Packham et-all, it's no more than a stalking horse.

Grouse shooting debate (as above and what this incoming email is about??!!!)

at 11:13 on 16/04/2021 by William Gascoigne

I don’t know why anyone is deluding themselves that Packham, Avery, Tingay or Oddie are remotely interested in facts, research, truth or anyone else’s opinion, they are so arrogant, bitter and twisted with envy and jealousy that they are completely blind to anything else, or any other agenda than their own! It is one of the least attractive aspects of the modern woke PC world that everyone is a victim, everyone is offended, everyone is entitled.... blah blah blah!...I am sure that there are many things that they all get up to that I personally don’t like .... but I don’t get up on my high-horse and pontificate about it from a position of ignorance! WHC Gascoigne

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