12 Reasons There’s Nothing ‘Glorious’ About the Start of Britain’s Grouse Shooting Season
August 12 has been dubbed “the Glorious Twelfth” by the tiny minority of bloodthirsty people who consider wandering the British countryside, gunning down sentient animals, to be an enjoyable hobby.
Here’s why, for the rest of us, there’s absolutely nothing “glorious” about the start of the annual grouse shooting season:
- It’s a huge, senseless massacre. Around 700,000 red grouse will be killed between now and December.
- According to a report by the League Against Cruel Sports, 40 per cent of birds shot are wounded rather than killed outright, causing intense suffering.
- Grouse are charming, sensitive birds who can survive as far north as the Arctic circle and are devoted parents to their chicks. They deserve better than being killed in cold blood for someone’s twisted idea of entertainment.
- It’s canned hunting. Shooting parties – often made up of foreign tycoons – pay as much as £14,000 a day to gun down animals.
- “Sport” implies a contest between two equally matched opponents who have chosen to participate. There’s nothing “sporting” about blasting small, defenceless birds out of the sky with guns.
- The killers don’t even pretend to “hunt down” their victims – “beaters” are paid to drive the frightened animals right into the line of fire.
- Gamekeepers on shooting estates artificially boost the grouse population (just so that the birds can later be killed), wreaking havoc on the natural ecosystem and causing major environmental damage.
- In order to stimulate the growth of heather shoots for young grouse to eat, landowners set fire to the moors every year – and yes, that’s as destructive as it sounds, polluting rivers and increasing the risk of flooding.
- The Committee on Climate Change estimates that 260,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year are emitted because of burning peat on grouse moors. Despite this, according to the RSPB, the number of burns on Britain’s moorland is increasing by around 11 per cent each year.
- Shooters almost always still use ammunition made from lead, a hazardous toxin which can remain in the ecosystem and poison wildlife. Hunting groups may discharge as many as 1,700 shells in a single day.
- It’s not just grouse who suffer. Birds of prey, including endangered species such as hen harriers, red kites, and various eagles, are often shot, poisoned, and trapped so that hunters will have more grouse to kill.
- Other natural predators, including foxes, crows, magpies, and stoats, are also killed by the thousands every year, often after being trapped in snares, resulting in a slow, agonising death.
Help Stop Cruel Grouse Shooting
This shameful annual massacre must stop for the sake of wildlife, the environment, and basic compassion for animals. If you live near a moor where grouse are shot, join a local campaign group such as Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor to help end the bloodshed in your area.
And please sign this e-petition to the government, supported by many experts and animal protection groups, calling for these barbaric grouse shoots to be banned. Help it get to 100,000 signatures so that it will trigger a debate in Parliament.