Marks & Spencer has announced that it shall not be stocking grouse this year, despite having been working until very recently with game processors and the Countryside Alliance to expand the number of stores offering grouse this season.
Countryside Alliance head of campaigns Tim Bonner said: “This is a bizarre decision by M&S, which seems to have bowed to minimal pressure from a vocal minority of anti-shooting activists. We are now in a ridiculous situation where grouse moors are being judged on standards of which they have no knowledge, with the result that M&S claims it is unable to achieve 3rd party accreditation for those moors.
“Given the success of last year’s launch of grouse, when M&S was clearly satisfied, this would imply that there has been a drop in standards in the past year – but we know that this is not the case.
“Many M&S customers will be very concerned by this decision and the company can expect a far greater reaction to its decision to withdraw the sale of grouse than it would have had if it had continued to offer them.”
The Alliance has written to M&S and will be advising its supporters how best to raise their concerns.