Nearly half of poll respondents want grouse shooting banned

Posted on the 11th October 2016

Nearly half of British people favour a ban on grouse shooting in the UK, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by national campaign group Animal Aid.

Of those polled, 48 per cent said they would support a ban on grouse shooting, compared with 28 per cent who oppose a ban. When counting only those who expressed a view, the figure of those in favour of a ban rose to 63 per cent, with 37 per cent opposed to a ban.

The poll comes ahead of a session on 18 October where MPs on the Petitions Committee and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee will hear from experts and discuss grouse shooting. The hearing is a curtain raiser to a debate on the issue, which was the result of a petition, supported by the League Against Cruel Sports, calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting. The petition gathered 123,076 signatures.

Opponents of the ‘sport’ now include conservationists, concerned about the illegal persecution of birds of prey; environmentalists, distressed over the burning and draining of the precious peat bogs in upland areas; and animal activists, horrified by the use of grouse as live targets and the snaring and trapping of huge numbers of wild animals.

On hearing the results of the poll, many notable people and organisations commented.

Former RSPB Conservation Director and author of Inglorious, Mark Avery said:

‘We’re leaving the EU on 52% of the vote – we should ban driven grouse shooting on 63% of views. Intensive grouse shooting damages our environment, depends on killing our protected species, and benefits from our taxes. We want it to end.

‘MPs will debate this issue later this autumn. They must rise to the challenge of ending wildlife crime and ending unsustainable moorland management.’

Mark McCormick, Head of Campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports stated:

‘The momentum to ban driven grouse shooting is growing and this polling is a clear indicator of this trajectory. The public are clearly becoming wise to the devastating impacts of this brutal industry. When you consider the potential benefits of wildlife and eco-tourism in contrast to the dubious and overstated economic benefits of driven grouse shooting it is absolutely clear that this is an industry only interested in protecting its own profits at the expense of wildlife and the environment.

‘The uplands should be a place whereby nature and wildlife thrive free from persecution and destruction and can be of joy and benefit to everyone rather than just a few.’

And the group Raptor Persecution agreed:

‘It’s good to see an increased public awareness and condemnation of driven grouse shooting. Those who want it banned understand the immense environmental damage it causes and know that this industry has refused, point blank, to voluntarily put its house in order. Those who continue to support driven grouse shooting either have a vested interest or are yet to be made aware of its devastating impact on our upland habitat and wildlife.’

Says Animal Aid Director, Isobel Hutchinson:

‘These latest poll results reflect the rising tide of opposition to grouse shooting. The public is becoming increasingly aware that this is a sport which inflicts appalling suffering on animals, and can have devastating consequences for the environment. It is high time that the barbaric bloodsport of grouse shooting was consigned to the history books.’

Notes to editors

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