New report details grotesque mis-management of Scottish grouse moors

LACSreport cover - CopyA new report has been published today entitled The Intensification of Grouse Moor Management in Scotland.

Commissioned and published by the League Against Cruel Sports, the report provides a succinct overview of many aspects of grouse moor management, bringing these topics together in one place rather than the usual disparate report that focuses on just one or other particular aspect. This approach is useful for gaining the attention of policy makers within the Scottish Government who may be familiar with, say, raptor persecution or the unregulated construction of hill tracks, but perhaps may be unfamiliar with the whole suite of related problems that stem from this industry.

Topics covered in the report include the legal framework of grouse shooting, land ownership & tenure, peatland and burning, tracks and roads, medicated grit, tick management, fencing, lead ammunition, disturbance, raptor persecution, and economics and finance.

There are also eight recommendations, which are measured and reasonable, and all entirely ‘do-able’ without causing the grouse-shooting industry to collapse. There isn’t a recommendation to ban driven grouse shooting, although this may be a strategic political move more than anything else. For those of you who are tired of waiting for a properly regulated and lawful grouse-shooting industry, you can support a call for a ban on driven grouse shooting here.

The report has an accompanying video and press release (see here).

Andy Wightman (one of the report authors) has written an interesting blog on the report (here).

Mark Avery has also written an interesting blog on the report (here).

The report will be officially launched at the SNP Conference this Thursday at 6.30pm. It’ll be interesting to see which MSPs turn out in support or against.

Now sit back and wait for the grouse-shooting industry to dismiss the report out of hand for all sorts of spurious reasons rather than accept that their damaging and unregulated industry needs to change, and fast. Public awareness and scrutiny has never been greater and it’s only heading in one direction. This report will help push things along.

10 Responses to “New report details grotesque mis-management of Scottish grouse moors”

  1. 1 Les Wallace
    October 13, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    The video was pretty devastating – can’t see any grouse moor owner seeing that and being happy with it! Superbly produced and the facts it provides such as the utterly crap wages keepers get is a kick in the stomach to driven grouse shooting supporters. Excellent effort and I’m certainly chuffed to be a LACS member.

  2. October 13, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    An excellent piece of work – well done to all involved. Now..lets hope some of our MSPs and MPs are shocked into action – they have enough ammunition here to fight off any attempted defence of this ludicrous and damaging “industry”.

  3. 3 Flash
    October 13, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    The LACS should be congratulated on this piece of work, with its straight forward, telling it like it is portrayal of this farcical industry. I believe that the various anti-shooting lobbies should support each other more openly and perhaps be more joined-up. The momentum is definitely building!

  4. 4 Jack Snipe
    October 14, 2015 at 1:21 am

    An excellent document, brief but comprehensive with lots of useful information, facts and details exposing the economic realities behind the recent upsurge in investments in the killing fields. What is missing from the wider debate though is a deeper examination of the ethics surrounding various aspects of game shooting, including fundamental principles. Few people, even among those who have signed the petition for a ban on driven grouse shooting, and certainly not from the middle-class orientated RSPB, seem prepared even to start talking about the morality of a society where individuals at one end of the socio-economic scale enjoy multi-million pound annual incomes, whilst many millions of other UK citizens are forced into poverty. This is what has led to a situation whereby individuals can buy vast moorland estates as personal playgrounds, and to hell with the environmental and ecological consequences. The super-rich exploit public finances through agricultural grants and tax concessions, almost always in conjunction with running businesses which avoid paying unimaginable amounts of tax by various ‘legitimate’ routes. The League Against Cruel Sports has done us a tremendous service by commissioning this research, but I hope it doesn’t just lead to the grouse industry thinking it’s okay to continue inflicting cruelty if it gets its house in order. I find it hard to believe that clandestine killing of protected birds of prey would not continue. I do believe that the only workable solution in the long run is to change the ethics of our relationship with our natural heritage. Let’s start by getting the guns off our moorlands.

  5. 6 George
    October 14, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I couldn’t stop myself from accessing Bertie B’s Bullshit Bulletin on FB to see what he might make of this report. True to form he was foaming at the mouth which became glaringly more obvious as his rant continued. I guess reasoning isn’t his strong point. Someone should take pity on the old man and let him know that it’s best to stop digging when the hole becomes too deep to manage. Wonderful report … thank you so much Andy Wightman and Dr. Ruth Tingay.

  6. 7 Merlin
    October 14, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Well done LACS for telling the real “untold storey” and also very well done to them for getting Brittany Ferries to stop importing Pheasant poults from abroad and hopefully they can get other importers to follow this example, 30 – 40 million non native birds released annually into the British countryside is an annual ecological disaster. Shooting sold its soul to the God “Money” years ago, I make no apologies for asking people reading this to read all of Sandy Mitchell’s article written in 2002
    This is written by a shooting man, 13 years ago he warns of the commercialisation of shooting, he warned then it had already started and that members of the shooting community had displayed their displeasure and tried to take action, these very people were let down by shooting organisations not taking action then, Mitchell comes across as part countryman and part sportsman, let me explain! A countryman in the true sense would not take more of anything than is needed for to do so is wasteful, a sportsman would not shoot easy birds and certainly wouldn’t carry on shooting for the sake of chasing someone else’s records‘, how many easy birds are shot these days as egotistical newbie fanatics blast away in the hope of making a name for themselves.
    I was saddened to read the RSPB are still not going to support a ban on Grouse shooting, just like the members of the shooting fraternity back in 2002 called for action to be taken against commercialisation back then and were ignored by their organisations so to are birders being ignored these days by those in high places, Martin Harper “RSPB” has heightened the situation from “having words” with shooting organisations to “having strong words”. I bet their quaking in their boots, Is it me or does every major organisation these days seem to have modelled themselves on FIFA.
    Once again well done to LACS for doing the dirty work of both the shooting Organisations and the RSPB and shame on those standing by

  7. 8 HeclaSU
    October 15, 2015 at 2:35 am

    I stopped my membership of the RSPB when I was told by one of their senior officers to stop ‘harassing’ an Estate because it could compromise fieldwork they were carrying out on their land. To me, there can be no compromise. Senior members of the Estate in question considered themselves to be completely above the law and they believed that they could do – and did – what they saw fit. That the RSPB was willing to compromise was too much for me as I believed then, as I do now, that there can be no compromise with these bastards. I am saddened to see that he RSPB seemingly continues to follow this policy, turning a blind eye when they believe it might be in their better interests to do so and not facing up to the fact that they are the Royal (a joke now after the Sandringham affair!) Society for the Protection (when expedient to themselves) for Birds. They should be ashamed of themselves. Kudos to the LACS (an organisation I don’t always agree with) for producing an excellent report, It is time for the RSPB to put their heads above the parapet over this matter because as far as I, and I am sure others, are concerned, they are losing all credibility as an organisation which will fight FOR ALL birdlife and if that means ‘binning’ a study or two, so be it.

  8. 9 Andrew
    October 15, 2015 at 11:02 am

    The comments about the RSPB reminded me of the donations made to the reward fund for the Ross Shire Massacre. What is happening with that? Is it time to force the RSPB to refund monies in part to throw a bit of pressure on Police Scotland to come to a conclusion of sorts on this case.

    I have posted here as I see no other means of contact. No problem if you don’t post as a comment here. You may feel another blog post appropriate to gauge current feeling.

  9. October 25, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Juniper is vanishing….. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-34626317

    I wonder if the tory MSP “species champion” knows that he should be campaigning against muirburn?

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