SNP regional branches submit motion calling for end to driven grouse shooting

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)

24 thoughts on “SNP regional branches submit motion calling for end to driven grouse shooting”

  1. Just voted on this on the Glasgow Herald website who are running a poll. When I voted 74% of voters were against DGS. We are slowly getting there!

  2. Great news. Hopefully the start of the end for this barbaric use of our land and the equally arrogant and cruel people that perpetuate it. Rewilding these areas would revolutionise tourism and the health of the nation

  3. Let’s hope SNP words become SNP action. We should remember this was the party that – not so log ago – had the opportunity to support Andy Wightman’s simple amendment to planning legislation regarding hill tracks and the SNP sided with the Tories. I’m not celebrating this until news until I see something actually done.

    1. There is a massive difference right now between SNP members, grassroot support and the NEC on too many issues to mention here (but democracy is the underlying thread).
      The branches are reflecting that here and as i see it putting pressure on the cabal which seems to have taken over the party. It is a miracle that this motion was accepted and i can only think that it is because it has the support of the NEC or whoever is making these decisions because not one motion by any member is being debated. The conference agenda contained six resolutions out of more than 130 submitted by party branches so presumably this is one of the six.

      They won’t even allow a vote on plan B for Independence (plan A being ask Boris nicely).

  4. There are those who read of the R-P UK offerings with a growing sense of disbelief at the claims being made – indeed, it’s been suggested that the mantle about to be discarded by Donald Trump is now being shared by this group, such are many of the preposterous claims.

    I accept that within the core of your group, there are a few who’s interests genuinely do lay in the protection of our Birds of Prey, but the disservice being done by outlandish claims, assurances and bizarre accusations are steering you towards a public viewing, parallel to that of the aforementioned Donal Trump.

    If R-P UK, a group who many would give consideration to are serious and wish to be taken seriously, then you need to divorce yourselves from an approach which mirrors a Trump ideology and live with those others who also work towards the protection of our BoP and live in the real world.

    1. Ah Perdix, right on que, but – like Trump – you appear to be lacking any substance in your gibberish. What ‘outlandish claims’ and ‘bizarre accusations’ are you on about old chap?

    2. So reporting on a newspaper constitutes”outlandish claims” & “bizarre accusations”? Only in Trumpworld. Getting a bit desperate Perdix?

    3. And to date, the artist currently known as Perdix has singularly failed to provide one iota of evidence in support of his/her numerous misconceptions, fantasies and falsehoods, yet has the breathtaking hypocrisy to compare RPUK with Trump!

    4. ‘There are those.’
      Straight out of Ladybird book of Trumpisms.
      After that you lost me. RPUK are reporting a fact you don’t appear to like the fact therefore it is false. Trumpism #2

  5. I see in the comments on the National website an attack on Revive over dense plantations of conifers…

    “Revive’s own graphics show the lower slopes of hills becoming completely covered in trees.”

    Perhaps this needs a response.

    1. There is a difference between natural regeneration of trees, which could take place if current grouse moorland was managed more sustainably, and the planting of conifers. If you look at the Revive video, you will see that it sees opportunities for natural regeneration – not conifers. The bare hills we see nowadays in Scotland are largely the result of poor management of the landscape. In many places, tree lines were originally much higher, and helped support a wide range of wildlife, not to mention sustainable local employment. I’m looking forward to seeing this happen again.

  6. “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.”

    That is a most interesting development.

    anandprasad wrote:-
    “There is a massive difference right now between SNP members, grassroot support and the NEC on too many issues to mention here (but democracy is the underlying thread)”.

    I don’t know the ins and outs of the many issues referred to, but it has been self evident for a very considerable time that insofar as wildlife crime is concerned there is an immense chasm between what the SNP government say they will do and what they actually do. In short they claim that they will correct the problem. In practice they are lending support to the depraved and criminal activities that are continually reported on RPUK.

    So, how will a motion for an end to grouse shooting be received by the NEC.

    I speculate it likely that the response will be a trite platitude constructed in a way to make it appear that the motion will become policy.

    The Holyrood crew’s record on dealing with the problem clearly exposes the course to which they are committed ……….. Steady as she goes !

    1. ‘submitted a motion for national conference’
      Does this mean it has been accepted, it doesn’t sound like it.
      If it is refused the SNP elite will look very bad indeed and right now they can’t afford to look even worse than they do already. Of course they could just allow the debate and agree with the motion and just continue wasting time like they have done for years. Whatever the outcome it brings more and more attention to the issue.

    2. As I seem to understand it, the programme for the Nat Conf is already fixed, with no allowance for input. Which, I believe, will antagonise many supporters in many ways. This issue is the latest of many.

      For myself, I believe an EGM or Vote of Confidence is about due, post-Corona Virus, perhaps.

  7. From Julie Bell’s Facebook page this morning (6th November 2020):

    Here’s the SNP Conference resolution, developed between myself, Ruth Maguire MSP and Max Wiszniewski of the Revive Coalition. We’ve submitted an amendment to the amalgamated combo that appeared in the draft agenda.

    Protecting wildlife, biodiversity and licensing

    Conference congratulates the Scottish Government on the establishment of the Grouse Moor Management Group to address unsustainable practices in the sector. Conference welcomes the group’s final report published in Dec 2019 and thanks Prof Werritty and his colleagues for their work.

    Conference believes that unsustainable management practices on grouse moors should end. These include the snaring, trapping and killing of animals; the slaughter of mountain hares; muirburn; and mass outdoor medication of grouse, all to increase grouse numbers on a monoculture based on sport shooting. We are therefore pleased that, due to recent legislation, mountain hares are now a protected species.

    Conference believes that in line with current party policy, all shooting estates should be licensed as soon as possible and that the use of poisonous lead ammunition should come to an end.

    Conference resolves that in line with the Scottish Government’s ambitions for land reform, and for tackling the climate crisis and the sixth global mass extinction, a move away from driven grouse shooting towards more sustainable and diverse land uses, would lead to our land being better utilised for all our people, our wildlife and our environment.

    Conference agrees legislation is required to address these issues and a commitment to action should be contained within our SNP manifesto for the next Scottish Parliamentary elections.

    Proposer: Councillor Julie Bell, Kirriemuir and Dean
    Seconder: Ruth Maguire MSP, Cunninghame South

    In support:
    • Tommy Sheppard MP
    • Councillor Ron MacWilliam (Inverness)
    • Councillor Emma Roddick (Inverness)
    List of branches in support:
    • Kirriemuir and Dean
    • Wester Ross
    • Inverness City
    • Inverness South
    • YSI Highlands and Islands
    • Lochaber and North Lorn
    • Dingwall and Black Isle
    • Carse of Gowrie
    • Clackmannanshire East
    • Renfrew and Gallowhill
    • Grantown-on-Spey
    • Bearsden South
    • SNP London branch
    • Dunblane
    • Glasgow Provan
    • Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay
    • Edinburgh Eastern Constituency Association
    • Ayr North
    • Sidlaw
    • Skye and Lochalsh
    • Rothes
    • Greencok and Inverclyde
    • Dalserf
    • Edinburgh Forth
    • Donside Aberdeen

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