A leading animal protection charity is calling for an end to driven grouse shooting in Scotland at the start of the biggest day in the shooting calendar.
August 12, or the Glorious Twelfth as it is known, marks the start of the grouse shooting season in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.
Commenting, OneKind Director Harry Huyton said: “There is absolutely nothing glorious about a day which celebrates the brutal slaughter of tens of thousands of birds, many of which will be maimed and injured rather than killed outright as novice and inexperienced shooters take to the moors for a corporate jolly.”
The charity claims that the slaughter of grouse is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Scotland’s commercial shooting industry, with a whole host of more complex and often more barbaric problems linked with the sport.
An e-petition asking the UK government to ban driven grouse shooting has so far collected over 75,000 signatures while north of the border the Scottish Government is being petitioned to license the sport to penalise estates which have been involved with illegal raptor persecution.
Harry Huyton added: “The effort which goes into maintaining a rich supply of game birds for shooting is huge and invariably involves some extremely controversial practices. It is not surprising the public is turning their back on this so called sport and calling the Government to account on a cruel, unnecessary practice which is enjoyed by a very small minority of people in Scotland.”
OneKind has recently launched a campaign to protect Scotland’s iconic mountain hare which is another victim of the shooting industry. Mountain hare are thought to carry louping ill, a condition which can be detrimental to grouse chicks. As a result thousands of hare are slaughtered in misguided attempts to protect grouse and sustain stock numbers for shooting.
OneKind wants to see complete protection of the mountain hare which would mean an end to culls and commercial hunting.
The grouse shooting season is due to get underway today (Friday) although some estates are thought to be postponing the start of the season due to a decline in stock following recent bad weather.