So what’s the problem with Grouse hunting?

Do you eat grouse? Would you consider it an ethical choice? It is after all, a free-range game bird, so surely that’s got to be good?
International conservation charity World Land Trust held a public meeting and debate with Chris Packham at the Royal Society of London on 2nd September 2014, and the issue of driven grouse hunting was the hot topic of the night.

Panellists at the event debated issues relating to the persecution of birds  – from protected species in the UK to birds killed on migration. The debate involved TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham as the guest speaker for a second year in a row.

The topic of discussion felt particularly relevant considering the news that Marks and Spencer have removed Grouse from sale in their poultry aisles. This decision came after the RSPB revealed that illegal shoots have had a devastating impact on the population of other birds, including hen harriers, peregrine falcons, goshawks and short-eared owls. It is thought that gamekeepers are deliberately killing these endangered and majestic birds of prey in order to protect the grouse raised specifically for hunting parties. You can read more about this story here.

Other retailers have also caught on to the issue, with one my favourite ethical beauty retailer Lush previously calling for customers to sign a petition to ban driven grouse shooting in the UK.

You can add your signature to the current petition here:*

John Burton, Chief Executive of World Land Trust said: “The killing of birds of prey is a common occurrence in many countries, but birds such as hen harriers, as well as migrants such as Woodcock and Snipe, are still being killed on our very own doorstep in the UK. Action needs to be taken to end this controversial and seriously damaging practice.”

*Updated August 2016.

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