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Moorland Association welcomes Defra response to grouse shooting licensing petition

9th March 2018

Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association: “The Moorland Association is pleased that the Government has no plans to license grouse moors nor to introduce vicarious liability in England for offences related to wildlife crime.”

“We agree with the Government that licensing is not the right way forward. We believe that the imposition of a top-down licensing system would not be either fair or proportionate. Instead, we believe in harnessing the motivation and expertise of passionate land managers to achieve conservation goals, using a bottom up solution-based approach that will have the lasting impact that our wildlife and habitats deserve.”

“As Defra’s response clearly states, grouse shooting is a legitimate activity that provides a wealth of social, economic and environmental benefits. The benefits, including private investment of over £1m a week on conservation in England and in excess of £15 million injected directly into rural areas during the shooting season, would be at risk were they subjected to clunky top-down regulation. It is imperative that over 1,500 jobs and 42,500 additional work days a year in remote communities are protected alongside a suite of internationally important bird populations.”

“Moorland Association members are at the forefront of wide-ranging environmental conservation work including the restoration of blanket bog habitats – especially in Special Areas of Conservation –  and the safeguarding of the UK’s unique heather moorland. Peatland restoration will lead to flood alleviation and the delivery of clean drinking water.”

“The Moorland Association wishes to see illegal killing of birds of prey eradicated completely and when it comes to wildlife crime, even one incident is one too many.”

“We are proud to not only be members of the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group but also part of the group that is tasked with running the pilot of the pioneering Hen Harrier Brood Management Scheme. Brood management is a conservation tool that has been used successfully in other countries with other species and we sincerely hope that it will help unlock the predator-prey conflict to the benefit of Hen Harriers and all moorland ground nesting birds.”

The petition and Defra’s response can be found here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/207482

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Did You Know?

75% of of the world’s remaining heather moorland is found in Britain – but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.

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