The Scottish grouse shooting industry’s propaganda arm, the Gift of Grouse, will be holding a Parliamentary reception at Holyrood tomorrow, hosted by Kate Forbes MSP (SNP, Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch), to celebrate red grouse as a ‘healthy & sustainable’ food:
Oh dear. ‘Healthy and sustainable’? Haven’t we been here before? Ah yes, so we have, back in 2015 when SNH joined forces with BASC to promote red grouse as ‘healthy, natural and sustainable’ as part of its Natural Larder campaign. Remember that? Here’s a quick recap for those that missed it (see here and here).
Nothing has changed since 2015. Red grouse, if sourced from intensively-managed driven grouse moors, are still potentially unhealthy, unnatural and unsustainable. They’re still potentially toxic, still potentially diseased, and still unsustainably harvested. They’re definitely NOT “organic”, as a Gift of Grouse Michelin-starred chef tried to claim last year (see here), and nor are they “100% organic” as the Angus Glens Moorland Group coordinator tried to claim last year (see here).
For any MSPs thinking of attending tomorrow’s celebration, here’s a quick summary of what those ‘healthy’ (potentially contaminated) grouse canapes might contain:
- Excessive amounts of toxic poisonous lead (over 100 times the lead levels that would be legal for other meat – see here)
- Unknown quantities of the veterinary drug Levamisole hydrochloride (also used in chemotherapy treatment for humans with colon cancer – see here)
- Unknown quantities of the anti-parasitic worming drug Flubendazole – see here
- Unknown quantities of the pesticide Permethrin (used topically to treat scabies and pubic lice; probably not that great to ingest – see here)
- There’s also a high risk the grouse will be diseased with Cryptosporidiosis (see here).
Andy Wightman MSP (Scottish Greens) posted a tweet yesterday evening to provide some reading material for any MSPs thinking of attending this reception:
The report to which he’s referring is the 2015 publication, The Intensification of Grouse Moor Management in Scotland, published by the League Against Cruel Sports (Scotland). This report provides a succinct summary of all the relevant issues, including the long-running association between illegal raptor persecution and intensively-managed driven grouse moors, although it was dismissed by Doug McAdam, the then CEO of Scottish Land & Estates, as being “poorly researched”. You can read Andy’s response to that accusation here (and it’s well worth a read!).
It’s not the first time the Gift of Grouse has held a Parliamentary reception under what looks very much like false pretences (see here). Will it be the last?
Grouse canape, anybody?