'Glorious Twelfth': Grouse shooting season begins amid call for review

"Labour's call for a review appears to be a response to a campaign from celebrities and extreme animal rights campaigners", said the British Association for Shooting & Conservation, saying that numerous details from Labour were incorrect.

The RSPB have supported Labour's calls for review, stating that the sport is economically important and very popular in the shooting community, but that a lack of effective regulation has led to "unacceptable" consequences for the environment.

The four-month-long shooting season stars today but the party said alternatives should be considered, such as simulated shooting or wildlife tourism.

But British Association for Shooting and Conservation spokesman Duncan Thomas, said: "Grouse moors are bio-diverse and shoots create vital jobs".

Large areas of upland Scotland are used for driven grouse shooting with the land being managed to maximise the number of red grouse available for shooting.

Labour's comments are likely to anger landowners, who say shooting creates employment opportunities and helps protect the environment.

Rural organisations have appealed for politicians to recognise the value of grouse shooting ahead of the "glorious twelfth" and one of the most important seasons in generations.

Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said: 'The costs of grouse shooting on our environment and wildlife need to be properly weighed against the benefit of land owners'. The process can involve burning moors, also increasing emissions.

They also highlighted that local species such as hen harriers and mountain hares are having their habitat destroyed and are being illegally culled to increase grouse numbers.

"For too long the Tories have bent the knee to land owners and it's our environment and our people who pay the price".

Despite evidence of environmental damage, the 10 largest English grouse moors were paid more than 3 million pounds a year in farm subsidies, the party said.

"It's time we said enough is enough and called on the Scottish Government to reform and address the intensive management of Scotland's grouse moors and end the indiscriminate killing of our wildlife".

"Effective heather management including burning and cutting creates unbelievable habitat and of course reduces the fuel load and risk of wildfire".

Ministers were said to be continuing to work closely with landowners, tenant farmers and sporting interests to sign up to voluntary agreements, including a commitment to stop the rotational burning of heather on bog land.

Noticias recomendada