REVIVE, the coalition for grouse moor reform, of which RPUK is a member, published a statement on 10th December as the grouse-shooting season ended for another year.
Here’s a copy:
10th December 2021
Today, the grouse-shooting season ends, following on from a poor breeding season which may have limited sport shooting this year.
However, this did not stop the circle of destruction that surrounds this controversial industry.
The mass trapping, snaring and killing of hundreds of thousands of foxes, stoats, weasels, crows and ‘non-target species’ like hedgehogs – so that a few more grouse could be shot for sport – continued on regardless.
The mass burning of heather (muirburn) which poses a serious environmental risk at a time of climate crisis – so that a few more grouse could be shot for sport – continued on, even when COP26 came to Scotland.
Tens of thousands of medicated grit stations which are positioned on moors to keep grouse numbers unnaturally high – so more can be shot – did not cease.
Meanwhile, an area around half the size of Wales is economically underutilised at the expense of our people when Scotland really should be doing so much better. But is there cause for hope?
The SNP/Green Government deal acknowledged the need to reform Scotland’s grouse moors and it supports a transition to alternative land uses where appropriate – which when you consider the damage they cause for such little economic benefit (just 0.02% of our economy) it is a no-brainer.
Licencing of grouse moors is going to happen but what a licence looks like and sets out to achieve is up for grabs and it should go well beyond an attempt to limit wildlife crime. The entire circle of destruction must end.
We now know that muirburn, a process there should be a general presumption against, will require a licence in future. If the Scottish Government is serious about grouse moor reform then a licence should never be given for muirburn when the purpose is increasing grouse numbers for sport shooting, nor should it be given under any other guise. If the Government recognise the clear environmental and biodiversity case for this reform, we are hopeful it can be achieved.
REVIVE just had its biggest ever conference and event with well over 400 people in attendance while polling shows that at least 2 thirds of Scots are against grouse shooting. Even in these trying times it’s clear public is with us and want change.
It’s with that spirit of hope and opportunity that we mark the end of the grouse shooting season. We hope that the worse excesses of this frivolous blood sport will come to an end, sooner rather than later.
For more information about the REVIVE coalition and to find out how you can support it / get involved, please visit the REVIVE website here