Stop killing mountain hares! Protest at Scottish Parliament, 17 November 2016

As many of you will know, thousands of mountain hares are massacred on Scottish grouse moors every year, including inside the Cairngorms National Park. These killing sprees are unmonitored, unregulated and uncontrolled.


The grouse shooting industry justifies the slaughter on the following grounds:

Hares can affect fragile habitats through grazing pressure

Mountain hares can cause the failure of tree-planting schemes

Mountain hares can spread sheep tick which also affects red grouse

Shooting mountain hares is a legitimate sport

Hares_Lecht_25Feb2016 (2) - Copy

Conservationists have long raised concerns about the legality and sustainability of these culls, but all to no avail (see links to our earlier blogs on this issue below). Well now’s your chance to send a strong message to the Scottish Government that enough is enough.

The charity OneKind is organising a protest event at Holyrood on Thursday 17 November 2016, between 12 and 2pm.

Some background info about their mountain hare campaign can be read here.

To join the protest, you need to register here.

You might also want to sign their petition to stop the mountain hare massacres (here).

hares_AngusGlens_Feb2015_113 hares killed driven shooting

If you want to find out more about mountain hare massacres, the following blogs will help:

10 November 2013: Massive declines of mountain hares on Scottish grouse moors (here)

11 November 2013: The gruesome fate of mountain hares on Scottish grouse moors (here)

22 November 2013: MSP wants answers about mountain hare culling (here)

11 December 2013: SNH still licensing mountain hare culls (here)

28 September 2014: Mountain hares massacred on Lammermuir grouse moors (here)

21 October 2014: CEH scientist claims gamekeepers “protect” hen harriers and mountain hares (here)

30 December 2014: Pointless call for ‘voluntary restraint’ on Scottish grouse moor mountain hare massacres (here)

10 January 2015: New petition puts more pressure on SNH to protect mountain hares (here)

17 January 2015: “The eradication of mountain hares in eastern and southern Scotland is disgraceful” (here)

23 March 2015: Hare-brained propaganda from the grouse shooting industry (here)

14 April 2015: Ten conservation groups call for 3-year ban on grouse moor mountain hare slaughter (here)

15 February 2016: More mountain hares slaughtered in the Angus Glens (here)

13 March 2016: More mountain hares massacred in Cairngorms National Park (here)

14 March 2016: Cairngorms National Park Authority responds to mountain hare slaughter (here)

20 March 2016: Queen’s Balmoral Estate accused of mountain hare massacre (here)

30 March 2016: ‘Sustainable’ mountain hare culls – where’s the evidence? (here)

28 May 2016: Mountain hare slaughter set to continue in breach of EU regulations (here)

14 June 2016: Mountain hare massacres on Scottish grouse moors: no planned monitoring (here)

hares_AngusGlens_Feb2015_133 killed driven shoot

mountain-hare-cull-angus-glens-large - Copy

35 Responses to “Stop killing mountain hares! Protest at Scottish Parliament, 17 November 2016”

  1. 1 John Edwards
    October 17, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Old customs, entrenched views and ridiculous slaughter of a beautiful animal. Allowed only because of landlords and their insistence of shooting grouse.

  2. 3 mikey naylor
    October 17, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    If these people wnat a “sporting challenge” why don’t they join up and fire at something that might fire back.

  3. 4 Mr Greer Hart, senior
    October 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Looking at the photos of those individuals who have been involved in killing Mountain Hares, I cannot believe that they can have compassion in them. The sheer cruel selfishness of what thy perpetrate every year, has been condoned by the Scottish Government. Anyone in Government who fobs off criticism of such an unnecessary slaughter, using the arguments postulated by the blood sports claque, is obviously lacking in being prepared to listen to those with an ethical point of view calling for an end to such killing.

    The very appearance of the groups of men, laughing with a lack of sensitivity as to what they have done, bespeaks an inherent disregard for the right of a wild animal to exist, and go through Life living according to its nature. For the SNH, the Scottish Government and whatever stooge quangos set up to “faux monitor” the conservation of wildlife, it is a disgrace, that no outrage has emerged over this disgraceful abuse of domination over the Scottish landscape, by a very much protected and influential minority.

    Every organisation involved in either animal welfare or species conservation, should join in setting up a sustained and forceful protest that such killing of Mountain Hares and other wild creatures, has to be made illegal. How can any organisation, so concerned with animal life, continue being slow in coming forward, in case it affects some cosy association with those involved in blood sports? The purpose of this slaughter, it is claimed, is to sustain grouse numbers, to sustain another slaughter, that of the grouse. If the Scottish Government can take some time away for its present obsessions, and give some attention to other matters relating to what is going on, on the Scottish environment, and to give more credence to the rising concern by the humane side of public opinion on the blatancy of wildlife killing. Anger rises in me at the thought of those obscene shooters of the defenceless Mountain Hares, especially in the Cairngorm National Park. It is a form of Fascism, which should be totally unacceptable in a modern Scotland.

    • October 17, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      Another good post Mr GH, senior. As well as some great new words (for me) I am learning much from your posts. I like the idea of joined up animal welfare/conservation groups for more clout.

  4. 6 Sarah burridge
    October 17, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    What an awful practise, needs to be banned!!!

  5. October 17, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Humans can affect fragile habitat through – well just being humans.
    Humans can cause the failure of tree planting schemes – by building instead of tree planting.
    Humans can spread sheep ticks – by introducing sheep to our fragile uplands.
    Shooting humans is an illegitimate sport.

  6. 8 Peter Robinson
    October 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    They have the demeanour of psychopaths delighting in their crimes. I live in Yorkshire so can’t be at the demo, regrettably.

  7. 9 AlanTwo
    October 17, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    The perfect example of why the word sport has no relevance to such activities. ‘Outdoor recreational slaughter’ really does fit the bill much better.

  8. 10 Greg McShane
    October 17, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    I’ll certainly be going.

  9. 11 Chris Roberts
    October 17, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Are all gamekeepers scum?

  10. 15 nirofo
    October 17, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Bloody disgusting that these morons are allowed to get away with atrocities like this.

  11. October 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Stop the grouse shooting

  12. 17 Pete Hoffmann
    October 17, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Surely grazing mountain hares cause less damage to the biotope than burn off!

  13. 18 Mike
    October 18, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Mountain hares are not difficult to shoot, it’s not a challenge, it can’t be described as sport. If you have no self respect, respect for others or for other living things and you like shooting then it is a very easy thing to do and to justify. Which is how many of us see this in exactly the same light and those involved in the same light as one of the human massacres of recent years or the gas chambers of the last war or even ISIS. The mocking and defiant faces of those involved are simply detached from the reality of what they do. So perhaps they should consider how they, their actions and ‘sport’ are viewed by others.

    • 19 dave angel
      October 18, 2016 at 9:21 am

      ‘Which is how many of us see this in exactly the same light and those involved in the same light as one of the human massacres of recent years or the gas chambers of the last war or even ISIS.’


      To equate a cull of mountain hares with the Holocaust is both ridiculous and grossly offensive. Views like that allow the shooting industry to portray their opponents as a bunch of deranged, fanatical nutjobs.

      And don’t think they won’t be trawling sites like this for ammunition.

      • October 18, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        I couldn’t agree more with you, Dave. I have no doubt that the post reflects Mike’s heartfelt feelings but wholly disregards the fact that, as you point out, such comments will be used to discredit the campaign with the ‘middle ground’ of the uncommitted who we need to win over if banning this odious massacre is to gain wide support.

  14. 21 mairi
    October 18, 2016 at 7:39 am

    If that is the sum total of the pleasure in their lives, then I feel totally, extremely, completely sorry for them. What an absolute waste of their existence. It is so sad that they cannot watch and appreciate wildlife in its natural habitat as we can. They are deprived and missing out on so much, and it is their own choice. No-one forces them to behave as one expects a psychopath to behave, showing no compassion or care for other living creatures. Such obvious enjoyment in killing and cruelty makes one wonder does it spill out into other parts of their lives? [Ed: last sentence removed as potentially defamatory]

  15. October 18, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Another superbly documented post; congratulations.

  16. 23 Fiona Petrie
    October 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Barbaric and cruel and must be stopped.

  17. October 18, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Basically, the people involved in massacring mountain hares – they know not what they do.
    That is not to say they are bad people, it’s just that something hasn’t clicked in their minds to understand that what they are doing is intrinsically wrong.
    Let’s look at the grouse shooters’ justification for slaughtering mountain hares;

    “Hares can affect fragile habitats through grazing pressure”

    Maybe they do but that’s because there are probably far too many of them, and that’s because of the wholesale slaughter of every animal or bird that would predate a mountain hare.
    Sheep have a far greater detrimental effect on fragile habitats.
    Stop the predator control and mountain hares would return to more natural numbers.
    So instead of making a scapegoat of the mountain hare, and slaughtering them in great numbers – Ban Driven Grouse Shooting.

    “Mountain hares can cause the failure of tree-planting schemes”

    How many grouse moor owners would entertain a tree-planting scheme?
    I doubt any would.
    Of course any grazing animal could cause the failure of a sapling to grow, isn’t that why tree guards are used to protect saplings?
    No grouse to protect would more predators which means less hares to eat the more trees which could be planted.
    So instead of making a scapegoat of the mountain hare, and slaughtering them in great numbers – Ban Driven Grouse Shooting.

    “Mountain hares can spread sheep ticks which also affects red grouse”

    Perhaps they can spread sheep ticks. but surely it’s the sheep that spread sheep ticks to the mountain hares? And it’s humans that spread the sheep that spread the sheep ticks.
    So instead of making a scapegoat of the mountain hare, and slaughtering them in great numbers – Ban Driven Grouse Shooting.

    “Shooting mountain hares is a legitimate sport”

    Ahh now we’re talking – sport – the activity to be enjoyed.
    But surely they’re shooting mountain hares not for sport but for all the reasons already mentioned?
    Anyone interested in nature would not see fit to class shooting such wild creatures as a sport.
    It may be legitimate but it isn’t sport.
    So instead of making a scapegoat of the mountain hare, and slaughtering them in great numbers – Ban Driven Grouse Shooting.

  18. 25 Ann-Marie Griffin
    October 19, 2016 at 8:49 am

    This is supposed to conserve the sporting fun of a select few? I think grouse shooting should be banned, the collateral damage is unacceptable in the 21st century.

  19. 26 Sallie Lloyd-Jones
    October 19, 2016 at 9:52 am

    When will people return to the understanding that animals are not our toys, here for our use? If it is due to the belief that ‘God gave man dominion over animals (ie non-human animals) then perhaps ‘dominion’ should rather be replaced by ‘responsibility’. People who lack empathy for other species, often lack empathy for members of their own species – serial killers usually make a start on non-human animals.

  20. October 19, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    It’s quite annoying that one cannot edit one’s mistakes on one’s posts. Who do I contact to ask for mistakes to be rectified?

  21. 28 Graham rich
    October 21, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Today I listened to sir Ian botham speaking on radio 4 he said the gamekeepers are looking after our grouse moors and the hen harriers he’s right that’s why there aren’t any left in England .

  22. 29 Tudor Jones
    October 22, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Slaughter of mountain hares is not sport.It’s an act of sheer cruelty .It upsets ,angers,and baffles me how somebody can achieve pleasure from such barbarity.

  23. 30 Beryl Clifton
    March 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    This is appallingly barbaric, shooting these beautiful creatures must be stopped. The cretins who do this should be hunted in the same cruel way and obliterated from the planet they are not worthy to share with the hares.

  24. 31 Emma Jane Connolly
    October 25, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Hello there and thank you so much for all your dedicated hard work over many many years!
    I am so horrified about the hare culling that I have started a website. May I use photos and/or info from your site on the petition updates?

    Best wishes, Emma


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