Almost three-quarters of Scots want end to grouse shooting, new poll shows

Press release from the League Against Cruel Sports (Scotland), a member of the Revive Coalition for grouse moor reform (2 November 2020)

New figures show overwhelming support for an end to grouse shooting in Scotland

Seven in ten of those polled are opposed to grouse shooting for sport

New figures published by the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland show seven in ten people (71%) are opposed to grouse shooting in Scotland with only 12% in favour of the blood sport, views which are shared by those in both urban and rural locations. The figures are released as the Scottish Government prepares to publish its response to the Werritty Review, expected later this month.

A review of grouse moor management practices was ordered by the Scottish Government in 2017 with a view to introducing a licensing scheme for game-shooting estates. The Grouse Moor Management Group was tasked to look at the environmental impact of grouse moor management practices such as muirburn, the use of medicated grit and mountain hare culls, and advise on the option of licensing grouse shooting businesses. The Scottish Government-commissioned group published its report led by Professor Alan Werritty, in November 2019.

Robbie MarslandDirector of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland said:

Almost a year ago Professor Werritty said wider societal views needed to be taken into account and political decisions made, well here are those views. Seven in ten people do not support grouse shooting in Scotland with only a pitifully low number in favour.

We are urging the Scottish Government to take these views into account when it responds to Werritty later this month. There is a circle of destruction that surrounds grouse moors.  These moors account for enormous swathes of Scotland which deplete biodiversity, add to climate change pressures, employ rigorous predator control which causes untold suffering to tens of thousands of animals each year and make a woeful economic contribution.

The time has come to move on from this archaic use of land and look at reviving grouse moors in a way which doesn’t revolve around a minority bloodsport opposed by the vast majority of Scottish people.”

The polling was commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland as part of its work with Revive, the coalition for grouse moor reform.

ENDS

Notes

  1. This survey was commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports and was designed by Diffley Partnership,
  2. Data were collected online among a sample of the ScotPulse online panel throughout Scotland, representative of the Scottish population,
  3. Survey invitations were sent on 7th October, with results analysed on 12th October
  4. A total of 1364 complete responses were received
  5. Results are weighted to the Scottish population by gender and age.

35 thoughts on “Almost three-quarters of Scots want end to grouse shooting, new poll shows”

        1. Jill with Benny Higgins (ex CEO at Tesco’s Bank & currently spokesperson for the Duke of Buccleuch estate) being Nicola’s chief economic adviser there’s no chance of anything effective coming of the Werritty Report. The SNP have no intention of upsetting the Lairds and the Establisement. Progressive party they ain’t, Tarten Tories maybe, certainly a significant number of them are.

    1. Yes, Jill they have form on this.
      Opinion polls on wildlife matters will not change that.
      They are locked into perpetuating the status quo until (and if) they are knocked of their pedestal by the electorate at the only poll that matters. That will not happen soon because Labour is all but finished in Scotland.

  1. So the majority don’t want it. Governments are elected on a minority vote. About time the majority humane among us are listened to

  2. 7 in 10 polled against grouse shooting. I don,t want to put a damper on this but how many were polled ? When and where ? The opposition will rubbish this statement unless it has substance and credibility .

  3. david mitchell wrote:-

    “7 in 10 polled against grouse shooting. I don,t want to put a damper on this but how many were polled ? When and where ? The opposition will rubbish this statement unless it has substance and credibility .”

    Yes, david, that is precisely the problem with this.

    1364 responses to the poll. Not exactly an earth trembling figure and most certainly not a basis to say “Over 70% of Scotland ………….. ”
    On the basis of that pathetic poll it is probably more accurate to say that over 70% of Scotland don’t give a toss.

    I would have expected a much larger response to such a poll and can only wonder whether the effort made to get the matter into the public eye was simply very poor.

      1. Give it any name you want, but to take a poll that utilises about 0.03% of the population and claim it to be representative of the Scotland is mumbo jumbo that will convince no one.

    1. “On the basis of that pathetic poll it is probably more accurate to say that over 70% of Scotland don’t give a toss.”

      There have been some worrying threads on RaptorPersecution blogs from subscribers wishing to undermine statistical surveys by conservationists (recently from the RSPB and now the League Against Cruel Sports – I am a long-standing member of both).

      No statistical evidence is ever provided to support the claim that the survey was biased, just assertions that it must be (“pathetic poll”).

      “I would have expected a much larger response to such a poll and can only wonder whether the effort made to get the matter into the public eye was simply very poor”

      Statistical surveys do not require “a much larger response”, they simply need to reflect the population and be statistically significant, as clearly explained in the notes. It may have helped to provide the confidence limits, usually +/- 5%.

  4. Many people who live in the villages and areas close to the grouse moors and other killing fields will know exactly what goes on with unlawful acts against wildlife. I can vouch for this as a village I lived in was in an area owned by one of the premier dukes in Scotland. Everyone knew what they did and that no action was taken against them despite evidence being available. The SNP allow the blood sports crowd to continue as they have influences with them.

  5. People don’t understand Grouse! Scotland holds the highest population of Red Grouse anywhere in the world. This fact is not just by chance. Estate owners invest many millions of £ each year managing land to benefit Grouse, and enable a sustainable ethical harvest whilst maintaining a stable breeding population. If shooting was banned, landowners would seek other types of income from their holdings. Afforestation, and over grazing are two options. Within ten years the sight of a Grouse would be a rare thing. People, be careful what you wish for!

    1. Another apologist for criminal behaviour spouting nonsense on absolutely no evidence whatsoever. Red Grouse are uniquely British and have been ever since the end of the last Ice Age isolated the British Isles from mainland Europe. In that time they have dealt with the changing landscape and co-existed alongside their natural predators. Anyone saying different is either dishonest or ill-educated.

    2. The very fact that the “shootable surplus” can only be maintained by manipulating the ecosystem to the detriment of other species, thus producing an entirely unnatural, disease-ridden population, shows the “harvest” to be neither sustainable or ethical.

  6. Suggest you invite the grouse shooting industry to carry out a joint poll – a poll that genuinely seeks random opinion from the cross section of the population. Presumably this would be acceptable? If the invitation is rejected by either party, this surely says something…

    1. “a poll that genuinely seeks random opinion from the cross section of the population”

      That has already been done: we have the results.

  7. As a person who has been anti all shooting for a long time I do not believe that polls do us many favours.

    Trouble is that pollsters cannot be trusted not to get things wrong (sometimes spectacularly wrong) and that inevitably breeds mistrust and suspicion.

    I have read about how polls are conducted and have taken part in a few.

    For over forty years I have resided adjacent to an estate where there is pheasant shooting. The amount of people who walk about for recreation has steadily increased as the village population rises. It is noticeable that walkers (I talk to many) initially did not have particularly strong opinions about the shooting, but they developed a dislike and sometimes a hatred of it.
    However, it became clear that the change in attitude in many was not really that they cared very much about the shooting (many think that pheasants are just a squawking pest), but that they had encountered the landowner who can have an aggressive attitude and resents the public having a right to walk about.
    People will be people and having got to stage where they dislike a landowner they simply progress to disliking everything he does. Being rich, Conservative, and inviting around a dozen wealthy people on shoot days is another reason for a grudge. [My point of view is that I detest the shooting, but love watching the dogs work and ignore the landowner.]

    If the “70%” poll is not accurate (e.g. includes people who are “anti” for other than shooting reasons) it will damage the cause.

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