Fun facts about grouse shooting & unicorns

The British Association for Shooting & Conservation (ahem) went on a massive propaganda offensive yesterday, to coincide with the opening of the grouse-shooting season.

Ross Ewing, the publicity bloke at BASC Scotland hilariously tweeted, ‘The private investment going in to the upkeep of Scotland’s moors is magnanimous and glorious in equal measure‘.

Understandably, his sentiment has been ripped to pieces by actual conservationists, as has the wider BASC propaganda about the so-called ‘benefits’ of grouse shooting, and no better than by conservationist Hugh Webster.

Have a read of Hugh’s blog here for an amusing take down of every single claim made in a BASC infographic on grouse-shooting ‘benefits’.

Meanwhile, if you believed BASC’s propaganda about driven grouse shooting, watch out for their next educational infographic, Fun Facts about Unicorns.

[For the hard of thinking, this is a parody].


If you don’t believe the shooting industry’s propaganda and you’re sick to the back teeth of illegal raptor persecution on driven grouse moors, please consider participating in this quick and easy e-action to send a letter to your local Parliamentary representative (MSP/MP/MS) urging action. Launched on Saturday by Wild Justice, RSPB and Hen Harrier Action, over 36,000 people have signed up so far.

This means that over 36,000 pre-written letters complaining about illegal raptor persecution and the environmental damage caused by intensive grouse moor management, are winging their way to politicians of all parties across the country. If you want your local politician to receive one, Please join in HERE

Thank you

8 thoughts on “Fun facts about grouse shooting & unicorns”

  1. Ahhhh it makes me smile. Ross Ewing is a bright, earnest young fellow but is sadly still in rapture to all things ye olde Big Estate, Military values, Royals, Aristocracy, etc,etc. Been there myself a lot of years ago, but came to my senses. Hopefully it isn’t a chronic case with Ross. Anyway, it’s always a chuckle to read his current stuff.

  2. Perhaps this pack of lies should be referred to the Advertising Standards Authority. After all, its creators were only too keen to report Lush to this body a couple of years ago.

  3. Seems the Government has issued a standard response for Tory MPs to use. This is what I got from mine:

    “Thank you for contacting me about driven grouse shooting.

    Many people have strongly held views about this subject. I want to see a vibrant, working countryside enhanced by a diverse environment. Driven grouse shooting contributes to that goal, so I do not support a ban.

    It is essential that our wildlife is properly protected, and anyone involved in game management must respect the country’s conservation laws, which are among the toughest in the world. That being said, shooting as a whole is worth about £2 billion a year to the economy, much of it in some of our remotest communities. It supports more than 70,000 full-time equivalent jobs, 1,520 relating directly to grouse shooting. Grouse shooting is also one of the main land uses in the uplands along with grazing and forestry.

    It is important to recognise that healthy, active peatland provides numerous environmental benefits and ecosystem services including natural cover for grouse. I am pleased that the Government is working with moor owners to further improve management practices and peat condition, such as through Blanket Bog Restoration Projects.

    It is also worth noting that all wild birds are protected from illegal killing by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Raptor persecution, including of hen harriers, is a national wildlife crime priority and there are strong penalties in place for offences committed against birds of prey.

    I hope this is of reassurance, and thank you again for taking the time to contact me.”

    1. I got a different reply from Murdo Fraser, which is certainly less protectionist of the status quo, so not standardized across all conservatives MSPs:

      “The Scottish Conservatives condemn the illegal persecution of birds of prey. Those who carry out these acts should face the full force of the law.

      The Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform committee is currently investigating the issue of wildlife crime, including raptor persecution. I know my Scottish Conservative colleagues on the committee are eager to hear and analyse the evidence on this issue to determine the best way forward. You can read more about this at

      Separately, I was pleased to vote recently to increase the maximum criminal sentence for animal cruelty to five years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. This move was long overdue from the SNP Government. Individuals who cause pain and suffering to animals should be dealt with severely.

      Regarding muirburn, I would encourage all land users to abide by the Scottish Muirburn Code. Where this is not the case, it is essential that the Code is rigorously policed and imposed. In areas where the Code is abided with, further training and enforcement of sound practice are needed”

    2. Yes – it is a standard response. I replied to mine with a link to the Spectator article of May 2019 which rips their figures and arguments to shreds. As the “in house” magazine of the Tories it is hardly the conservationists’ friend.

  4. Sheesh!! I have a bit of back history when it comes to National Park and AONB matters and crowing about high proportions of our national landscape designations being dedicated to grouse farming, like this is a good thing, gives me a real facepalm moment. Driven grouse shooting is a form of outdoor recreation – one of the two purposes of National Park designation. It is, however, in conflict with the other purpose of National Park designation which is to “conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage” of the park. Conservation takes priority over recreation (by statute) whenever the two are in conflict so one wonders how DGS can be considered legally acceptable. I suggest that this is an area for Wild Justice to explore as a possible mechanism for legally challenging the existence of DGS in National Parks.

    The position in AONBs is less clear cut, but they don’t have a recreation purpose at all. They are all about conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape. For this purpose natural beauty includes “flora, fauna, geological, and physiographical features”.

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