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A petition to ban grouse shooting was launched by wildlife campaign group Wild Justice in July 2019. The petition closed early due to the December 2019 elections but received 111,956 signatures.  A debate was scheduled in the new Parliament for January 2021, which was postponed and is now due to take place on 21 June 2021. The text of the petition is as follows:

Chris Packham, Ruth Tingay and Mark Avery (Wild Justice) believe that intensive grouse shooting is bad for people, the environment and wildlife. People; grouse shooting is economically insignificant when contrasted with other real and potential uses of the UK’s uplands.

Environment; muirburn impacts negatively upon climate change and drainage leads to flooding and erosion. Wildlife; the wholesale culling of all predators and Mountain Hares has a disastrous effect on the ecology of these areas and the industry is underpinned by a criminal tradition of raptor persecution which shows no signs of abating. It’s time to provide an opportunity to implement immediate, legislative and meaningful measures to address this abhorrently destructive practice.[1]

The Government response to the petition was published in September 2019 making clear that it did not intend to ban the practice in England:

The Government appreciates that many people hold strong views on the issue of driven grouse shooting. The Government considers that shooting activities bring many benefits to the rural economy and can in many cases be beneficial for wildlife and habitat conservation. We recognise that it is vital that wildlife and habitats are respected and protected and the law is respected. We will continue work to ensure a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship between shooting and conservation. The Government has no plans to ban grouse shooting.[2]

The petition response goes on to outline the Government’s approach to dealing with some of the issue of concern and raised in the petition.  The response highlighted that raptor persecution had been identified as a wildlife crime priority and the work of the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group which is part of the UK Wildlife Crime Unit. The response also refers to a number of commitments from the Government to improve and protect Petland including proposals for a England Peatland Strategy, and to the economic value of the shooting industry.

This pack contains background on grouse shooting and moor management, muirburn and the Peat Action Plan, predator culling and raptor persecution, and the policy review in Scotland. It also has links to relevant news and journal articles and press releases, and Parliamentary material.

Documents to download

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