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There's nothing 'glorious' about the twelfth
Posted 12 August 2013
The grouse shooting season, which starts today (the so-called Glorious Twelfth), runs until 10 December. Here are a few of the many reasons why this bird-killing festival is nothing to celebrate.
- A large number of native birds and mammals who ‘interfere’ with grouse shooting are trapped, poisoned or snared. Victims include stoats, weasels, and even iconic raptors such as buzzards and golden eagles.
- An unnatural, heather-rich environment is created because grouse thrive on young heather shoots. To create these fresh shoots, the heather is burned, which can harm wildlife and damage the environment.
- Furthermore, the harsh ‘management’ of moorlands causes grouse numbers to boom. But, as they overburden the landscape, they become weakened and fall prey to a lethal parasitic infection – strongylosis. Consequently, a cycle of population boom and bust is the norm on Britain’s grouse moors.
- Finally, large quantities of lead shot are discharged, which is toxic to wildlife.
In short, the grouse shooting season on Britain’s moors is anything but glorious.