The National newspaper ran an exclusive yesterday (see here), written by Jane Cassidy, on a new motion calling for an end to driven grouse shooting in Scotland, submitted to the SNP conference for consideration by members and supported by 25 regional SNP branches. If successful it could be included in the SNP manifesto.
The article is reproduced here:
TWENTY-FIVE SNP branches from across Scotland have submitted a motion for national conference calling for an end to the circle of destruction of driven grouse shooting in Scotland.
The submitted motion calls for an end to all the unsustainable practices on grouse moors including the snaring, trapping and killing of hundreds of thousands of animals, muirburn and mass outdoor medication, all to increase grouse numbers for sport shooting.
The motion, proposed by councillor Julie Bell of Kirriemuir and Dean, an area dominated by grouse moor interests, also calls for an end to the “use of poisonous lead shot” and for all shooting estates to be “licensed as soon as possible”. In line with the Scottish Government’s ambitions for land reform and tackling the climate crisis, it calls for a transition away from driven grouse shooting and calls for these asks to be in the SNP manifesto next year.
The controversial sport has recently come under increasing pressure as polling of both rural and urban Scots this week revealed that 71% of Scots are opposed to it, compared to just 12% who support it.
Bell said: “There’s a real groundswell of concern, not only in my ward but across Angus and Scotland, about the impact this ‘sport’ has on our land. That’s reflected in my inbox and in local forums.
“I’m therefore urging our membership to support our motion as a step towards more ethical, sustainable land use.”
Ruth Maguire MSP, who is seconding the motion, said: “When it comes to grouse moors, the scale of land used for the benefit of so few and the accompanying damage done to the environment, wildlife and health is a matter of importance not just to the majority of rural Scots who support reform but to our whole nation. The SNP as the party of Scotland have the opportunity to be in the driving seat and take meaningful action to change the cycle of destruction.”
UPDATE 6 November 2020: Why the SNP should back and end to grouse shooting on Scottish moors – comment piece from Revive’s campaign manager (here)
UPDATE 12 November 2020: SNP leadership faces grassroots rebellion at conference over watered down grouse shooting motion (here)