The Petitions Committee has confirmed that it will debate the petition ‘Ban Driven Grouse Shooting: Wilful blindness is no longer an option’ on Monday 21 June.
The petition, which was launched by Wild Justice last year, follows a similar petition to ban grouse shooting that was debated in 2016 and which, like this one, was also promoted by Chris Packham and his co-founders of Wild Justice. That debate benefited from a joint evidence session held by the Petitions Committee and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, which made it abundantly clear that despite a wide range of accusations levelled against driven grouse shooting and the associated moorland management, those accusations were not supported by the evidence. Since then, new evidence has only strengthened the case for driven grouse shooting and the considerable environmental, economic, and social benefits it brings.
Grouse moor management has played a key role in creating and maintaining our upland landscape, preserving and improving heather habitat and peatland, sustaining some of our rarest plants and wildlife and promoting biodiversity.
Grouse shooting is already heavily regulated and controlled. There is extensive legislation in place that has an impact on almost every aspect of grouse shooting and grouse moor management, and licensing requirements are in place across many areas such as firearms possession, and heather burning in environmentally sensitive areas. Any additional legislation, or licensing requirements, would need to be consistent, evidence-based and
principled, recognising that further controls would add to the cost and bureaucracy of grouse moor management, without necessarily improving outcomes.
This issue needs to be debated on the facts, and not on accusations motivated by a wider anti-shooting agenda, and the Countryside Alliance has produced a comprehensive briefing note that has been sent to MPs ahead of the debate. You can read our Briefing Note here.