by Countryside Alliance

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.

Adrian Blackmore, the CA’s Director of shooting says:

‘Those with any knowledge of grouse shooting and its associated management will know that some of the claims being made by labour are complete nonsense, and if an independent review into grouse shooting would help increase Labour’s understanding of its considerable environmental, economic and social benefits, then it should be welcomed’

‘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’.

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