OneKind calls for ban on the "cruel sport" as shooting season gets under way
An animal welfare charity is calling for an end to driven grouse shooting in Scotland.
The call from OneKind comes as shooters return to the moors for the so-called Glorious Twelfth, the first day of grouse shooting season.
Bob Elliot, OneKind director, said thousands of animals were killed every year on grouse moors by landowners eager to maximise the numbers of red grouse available for shooting.
“There is nothing glorious about the day which marks the start of the shooting of large numbers of grouse,” he said.
Elliot continued: “Thousands of wild animals that are predators to red grouse are killed all year round on Scotland’s driven grouse moors to ensure that high numbers of red grouse are available to be shot for ‘sport’. They can be legally trapped, shot and snared in Scotland’s countryside with very little in the way of public scrutiny, inspection, or regulation by the authorities.
“These animals experience considerable mental and physical suffering in cruel traps and snares: suffering which would be illegal and universally condemned if inflicted on domestic animals. In fact, Scotland is behind many countries in the protection afforded to wild animals. Only a few EU states permit and routinely use snares.”
The charity is also calling on the Scottish Government to implement laws protecting Scotland’s wild mountain hares as a matter of urgency. Around 26,000 are killed each year on moors, and, despite the animals being granted protected status earlier this year, the legislation has not yet been bought into force.
Elliot said: “We were delighted when the Scottish Parliament voted to make Scotland’s mountain hares a protected species. With hare shooting season having begun before the legislation has been implemented, however, these animals are currently vulnerable to indiscriminate killing.
"We urge the Scottish Government to enshrine mountain hares’ protected species status into law as a matter of urgency.”