Do you eat grouse? Would you consider it an ethical choice? It is after all, a free-range game bird. If you’ve been eating grouse with an easy conscience thanks to the free range credentials, I have some bad news.
Research has revealed that the gamekeepers who raise our UK grouse are dramatically affecting the numbers of our wild birds of prey. The RSPB recently revealed the full, devastating impact that illegal shooting is having on the population of the UK’s wild birds of prey, including hen harriers, peregrine falcons, goshawks and short-eared owls.
It is believed that gamekeepers are deliberately killing these endangered and majestic birds, in order to protect the grouse that are raised specifically for fee-paying hunting parties.
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 here in the UK. Action needs to be taken to end this controversial and seriously damaging practice.”
With Marks and Spencer removing grouse from sale in their poultry aisles, it seems that people are waking up to the damage that grouse hunting has caused. For the sake of our wild birds of prey, I for one won’t be eating grouse again any time soon.