Labour gets roasting from countryside groups after declaring war on grouse shooting

Mail Online | 8/12/2019 | Colin Fernandez, Environment Correspondent For The Daily Mail
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Countryside groups yesterday dismissed Labour's calls for a review of grouse shooting as a 'thinly veiled political attack'.

The party has claimed the financial benefits of hunting grouse are outweighed by the environmental cost.

Moors - Preparation - Shooting - Season - Yesterday

Draining moors in preparation for the shooting season, which began yesterday on the 'Glorious 12th' of August, destroys plantlife and wildlife, Labour argues.

The party added that 'simulated shooting and wildlife tourism' could replace grouse hunting.

Countryside - Alliance - Labour - Attack - Grouse

But the Countryside Alliance has said it was 'extraordinary' that Labour had launched a 'thinly veiled political attack on grouse shooting' during 'the present political turmoil'.

It added an independent review would be welcomed as it would highlight the benefits of shooting.

Shadow - Environment - Secretary - Sue - Hayman

Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said: 'The costs of grouse shooting on our environment and wildlife need to be properly weighed up against the benefit of landowners profiting from shooting parties.

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

Alternatives - Shooting - Tourism - Time - Review

'There are viable alternatives to grouse shooting such as simulated shooting and wildlife tourism. The time has come for a proper review.'

Burning heather on grouse moors releases 260,000 tonnes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to the Committee on Climate Change, the Government's advisory body.

Conservationists - Mountain - Hares - Birds - Hen

Conservationists also claim mountain hares and wild birds such as hen harriers, red kites and golden eagles are killed illegally to protect grouse.

But Adrian Blackmore, the Countryside Alliance's director of shooting, said: 'Those with any knowledge of grouse shooting and its associated management will know some of the claims being made by Labour are nonsense. If an independent review would help increase Labour's understanding of its considerable environmental, economic and social benefits, then it should be welcomed.'

Mr - Blackmore - Cent - England - Sites

Mr Blackmore said 70 per cent of England's upland Sites of Special Scientific Interest are managed grouse moors.

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