Successful Wild Justice petition secures another Westminster debate on banning driven grouse shooting

Way back in the summer of 2019, Wild Justice ran a very successful petition calling for the banning of driven grouse shooting, which secured over 100,000 signatures in under three weeks (see here).

Six months later in March 2020, Wild Justice was informed that there would be a parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall in response to the 100,000 signature threshold being reached (see here). This would be the second Parliamentary debate on this issue, following the extraordinarily dishonourable debate that took place in 2016.

However, shortly afterwards the country went in to lockdown and all thoughts of a second debate went out of the window.

Several months later, with most things moved to online platforms, Petitions Committee member Kerry McCarthy MP hosted a video conference call with Chris Packham to discuss the issue of banning driven grouse shooting (see here). Kerry has since been the recipient of malicious online abuse from the usual suspects for having dared to have this discussion!

Last week, the Petitions Committee clerk got back in touch with Wild Justice and announced there’d be a parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall on Monday 25th January 2021 at 6pm. This will be available to watch live, online.

As the Wild Justice blog pointed out in March 2020 (here), don’t assume that this debate will rapidly lead to the banning of driven grouse shooting but do assume that it’ll provide a good opportunity to hear how things have moved on in the four and a half years since the last debate, not least the recent decision from the Scottish Government to introduce a licensing regime for driven grouse shooting ASAP.

27 thoughts on “Successful Wild Justice petition secures another Westminster debate on banning driven grouse shooting”

  1. Great news to hear that this topic will get an airing in public but I will not hold my breath that it will be much different to the previous one. Ugh.

  2. I’m delighted this has come about, not least because it will hopefully right the wrongs which were too apparent in the 2016 “debate”. I still recall that sinking feeling of despair and frustration whilst watching that event and I felt for those of you there in person having to experience such blatant bias and cronyism. Well done for bringing this back to life; I just hope we’ll all have access to the event

  3. A very noble intention, which I predict will be another whitewash sadly. I dont believe any of these petitions serve any other purpose, apart obviously from highlighting an issue, than to give the public the false belief that if enough of them want something to happen enough then it might. I hope I am wrong on this occasion.

  4. We know how members of the landowning Party will play it: lies, distortions and dishonesty. What will be far more interesting is whether or not the Labour Party will actually take it seriously this time and nail their (currently light blue) colours to the mast and demand action!

    Given Neville Chamberlain’s (sorry, I meant Keir Starmer’s) policy of appeasement towards the Tories (presumably planning a merger in the near future), I doubt it.

    Also, it will be interesting to see if the Tories with Scottish accents (SNP) join in on the side of good or continue to accommodate evil.

    1. A silly, uninformed comment in your last paragraph.
      The SNP in Holy Rood brought in ‘vicarious liability’; they have committed (if elected in May) to bring in licensing of grouse-shooting estates. What did Labour do when in they were the ScotGov (with the LibDems)? Absolutely nothing to curb the raptor killers, did they?
      The membership of the SNP, the anti-austerity actions of the SNP ScotGov, are a million miles from your tired old slur.
      Given the Tory legislation (how did Labour or LibDems vote on this?) banning Scottish MPs from participating and voting on ‘English matters’ – even when there are consequences for Scotland – I’m not sure how the matter stands on a debate like the one proposed, given that it will be discussing things in an ‘English’ context. Perhaps you could clarify this for us, Simon.

      1. Not at all; Tartan Tories is quite apt in my view; all nationalisms are deeply suspect. The key issue is the subsidy issue to large estates so let the SNP deliver reform on that….or quite simply cease subsidy payments when wildlife law is breached particularly with repeat offenses.

        1. Subsidies to farms etc were EU controlled – not open to HolyRood to change. The recent Tory legislation (the ‘U.K. Single Market’) may well prevent the ScotGov from deviating from what England does.
          At one point, when Richard Lochhead was SNP Environment minister, for a short time subsidies WERE given on the basis of food being produced and environmental improvement. But the SFP was imposed (with EngGov participation!)
          I know of no Tory-minded people in the SNP – I assure you. His comment is just daft.

            1. I’m not sure if Michael Fry is even a member of the SNP. I know he is a journalist and writer who takes a line which is not supported by the SNP – and certainly not the mainstream membership.
              I do like it when people criticise the SNP for being ‘nationalist’ while demonstrating their own (unstated) ‘nationalism’… with a touch of imperialism.
              I look forward to those who do this declaring themselves… stateless! And filling in their landing cards with ‘Nationality – None’!

                1. So, you have no nationality?
                  Why is it only English/Brit imperialists who consider they are ‘above’ nationalism, when they exude their own ‘nationalism’ with such unthinking ease?

                  [Ed: This discussion has gone way off topic. I’m closing it now, thanks]

    2. Oh dear Simon, did you not know that the SNP are a sacred cow, and all of Scotland’s problems, after over a decade of SNP controlling Holyrood, are due to England.

      Yes they brought in Vicarious liability but how many convictions have there been? Granted that they are a bit ahead of England regarding raptor persecution but that is a very low bar to get over.

      1. I’m sure we’ll all get along splendidly as good friends both fighting the common curse of wildlife destruction and raptor persecution even after Scotland and England dissolve the Union.
        But making silly political smears does not further that common goal.

        1. In sorry but I’m with Simon on this, all nationalistic politics are all deeply suspect. We are seeing that in the way the SNP stand up to the landowners (or not as is the case) that their left leaning polices may not be as robust as they pretend.

          They claim the UK doesn’t work for Scotland, well if it doesn’t work for Scotland then it doesn’t work for the North East of England, the M62 corridor, the Black Country, South Wales and the south west of England. This issue is and has always been a problem with the London centric view of the UK government. Scotland is not alone in this.

          In over 10 years of power in Scotland the SNP haven’t improved anything beyond what has happen in the rest of the UK, indeed parts of Glasgow are among the most socially deprived regions of this country (the UK)

          1. Your second paragraph makes no sense in this discussion (which is getting well away from the daft comment which tries to link the SNP to the Tories!)

            Without SNP measures in HolyRood the Tories’ ‘bedroom tax’, the ‘rape clause’ would have had an even worse impact.
            The SNP avoided the bleeding of young doctors from the service the way Hunt’s stupid changes to conditions of service did in England.
            To equate the SNP with the Tories is just silly and shows a complete ignorance of the situation.

            1. It is quite clear that this sort of response is nothing to do with our objectives. What everyone needs to remember is that we are dealing with politicians none of whom can be trusted no matter what side or flavour they are so lets get on with the real business

  5. It is important that key messages are now focussed on with regard to lobbying MP’s; can i suggest 5 key referenced bullet points to be answered on the issue ? It starts for me personally with the fact that Eagle and Harrier populations have been manipulated to the point where they are in an inverse relationship to game keepers (map) 2) Hare culls offend me deeply 3) Harriers feed on grouse in April on moors only when they have been abundantly supplied by IGM management 4) all monocultures are species poor, mosaics and edge are rich ecologically and particularly important are wet flushes (normally drained on monoculture heather IGM moors 5) all this is subsidised to the tune of tens of millions of pounds to justify a 19th C slaughter that provides 5000 (is it) jobs…You may be able to do better

  6. Not much to hope for with this current Government I suspect but it will go on record again so that when eventually the political climate alters it will add weight to our argument.

    1. Sadly, my MP Damien Moore tory, is a shooter of driven game birds and wants to remain with the current rules and regulations.

      He has done nothing to promote the saving of wildlife or suppression of all the problems associated with game killing.


  7. For us English, it is also the date of the ‘Don’t criminalise trespass’ debate. Presumably so the landowners don’t have to make two trips! Sure many of the speakers will be the same in each debate.

  8. I’ll be interested to see if the chair of the next debate can aspire to the spectacular bias and wilful ignorance displayed by Therese Coffey MP

  9. Yes, the October 2016 debate was definitely something of a farce BUT it showed the hypocrisy of the system where MPs advocating for the shooting estates talked but contribute little by way of constructive dialogue to address the wildlife crime underpinning the pastime of the few at the expense of the raptors and other persecuted wildlife (eg Mountain Hares) other than the usual condemnation or no proven cases etc. (effectively denial of any wrong doing, or suggesting there has been a reduction and that things are improving – aka pr spin) then we have the damage to the carbon sequestration capacity of the upland peat bogs.

    To have it debated again without disproportionate representation by the shooters who do not as far as I’m aware have a parallel petition running achieving 100k+ signatures, so are neither eligible nor entitled to making their case. That’s not to say they shouldn’t be invited to make a written representation for someone to read out perhaps?

    What I would like to see is a filter system, where any MP with links or vested interests in grouse shooting or estate ownership is restricted in any ‘contribution’ they make to this ‘debate’ . Is the Members Register of Interests accurate and up to date and perhaps a check needs to be made?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: