by Countryside Alliance

The Countryside Alliance has featured heavily in the national press, following Labour’s announcement that they would review grouse shooting. We have featured in the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Sun and The Times.

Labour have made several false claims, which we have been instrumental in rebutting. Please see our latest ‘10 Questions Answered’ on grouse shooting brief by clicking here.

Adrian Blackmore, the CA’s Director of shooting says: “It is quite extraordinary that in the present political turmoil and with all the serious environmental issues facing the world the Labour Party has chosen to launch a thinly veiled political attack on grouse shooting. It is clear that the shadow Secretary of State would benefit greatly from speaking to people on the ground who are actually involved in grouse moor management and we would be happy to arrange this.”

Speaking to The Telegraph about Labour’s wider proposed attack on rural communities, Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, accused Labour of “pandering to the extremes” of the animal rights movement.

“We can’t get any straight answers on what the problem (with foxhunting) is or what solutions Labour have, other than they seem to desperately want people who wear red coats and ride horses in court.

“I’m afraid this is Labour reverting to the class war agenda. They don’t care about foxes – they want to get rid of hunts … This has always been a dog-whistle issue for the Left.”

Adrian Blackmore added “Heather moorland is a habitat of international importance, with 75 per cent of that remaining worldwide being found in upland Britain. It is the only habitat in which red grouse, a totally wild species unique to the United Kingdom, is found, and it is no coincidence that 70 per cent of England’s upland Sites of Special Scientific Interest are managed grouse moors, and over 40 per cent are also designated as Special Protection Areas for rare birds and Special Areas of Conservation for rare vegetation, the highest designations under European wildlife directives.

Anyone who claims that there are viable alternatives to grouse shooting must have first undertaken a thorough assessment of the environmental, social, and economic consequences that would arise as a result. These are the three dimensions to the core of mainstream sustainability that have been identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and anyone wanting to see a change to the status quo has a responsibility to ensure that any alternative land use is at least as beneficial.  At the very least, Labour should articulate their alternative solution before any decision can be taken, given the international importance of Britain’s heather moorland and the associated peatlands in Britain. It is our duty to protect Britain’s heather moorland and its associated peatlands, and it is widely recognised that grouse shooting has been instrumental in doing so.”

Check out our extensive 48 hours of press coverage here:

1.        ‘Labour pledges grouse shooting review’, The Times, 12-08-19, Adrian Blackmore

2.        ‘Grouse Grouch Jez’ Corbyn threatens to ban grouse shooting’, The Sun, 12-8-19, Adrian Blackmore

3.        ‘The Very Glorious 12th: Grouse season kicks off’, Mail Online, 12-8-19, Adrian Blackmore

4.        ‘That backfired! Labour gets roasting from countryside groups’, Daily Mail, Adrian Blackmore

5.        ‘Labour wages ‘class war’ with plan to halt badger cull’, Daily Telegraph, 13-8-19, Tim Bonner

6.         ‘Les travailleurs et les travailleuses de la campagne rôtis après avoir déclaré la guerre à la fusillade’ News 24 France, 12-08-19

The Countryside Alliance will continue to challenge misinformation and call out class war driven political attacks on rural communities.

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