Labour Calls For Review of Grouse Shooting Laws

12 August 2019, 15:10

The "glorious twelfth" shooting season begins today
The "glorious twelfth" shooting season begins today. Picture: PA

The Labour Party has said that the four month grouse shooting season, known as The "Glorious Twelfth", damages important natural habitats and wildlife.

Labour has stated that "the time has come for a proper review into the practice" of grouse shooting in the UK.

They party argues that alternatives, such as simulated shooting and wildlife tourism, should be considered instead.

Sue Hayman, the shadow Environment Secretary, stated that "the cost of grouse shooting needs to be properly weighed up against the benefit of land owners profiting".

"For too long, the Tories have bent the knee to land owners and it's our environment and our people who pay the price."

Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman has spoken out against the practice
Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman has spoken out against the practice. Picture: PA

Currently, each year the 55, 000 acres of grouse hunting land across England and Scotland is drained in preparation for shooting season. The Labour party has stated that this is having huge environmental impact on grouse moors across the UK.

But supporters of grouse hunting say that it generates millions of pounds for the rural economy and supports thousands of local jobs. Currently, grouse shooting contributes £32 million to the Scottish economy.

Labour said the preparation for shooting season destroys "swathes" of plant and animal life. The moors are often burned, increasing the chance of wildfires, flooding and increasing carbon emissions.

They also highlighted that local species such as hen harriers and mountain hares are having their habitat destroyed and are being illegally culled to increase grouse numbers.

The RSPB have supported Labour's calls for review, stating that the sport is economically important and very popular in the shooting community, but that a lack of effective regulation has led to "unacceptable" consequences for the environment.

The government said that the moorland should be protected as a priority, and they would be working closely with farmers and landowners to come to agreements over how best to manage the land.