10th October 2020
Mark Cunliffe Lister, chairman of the Moorland Association, said: “The call for licensing of driven grouse shooting and the threat of a possible ban in future is both disproportionate and unnecessary.
“Licensing of grouse shooting would add another expensive layer of bureaucracy that would not resolve wildlife crime and environmental issues that are already being addressed with real vigour.
“Grouse moor operators are heavily involved in the restoration of key habitats such as blanket bog and the protection of at-risk species including curlew, lapwing and indeed hen harriers where we have seen a record increase this year. This is entirely consistent with RSPB’s charitable objectives.
“At least a million pounds a week of conservation work takes place on land managed for grouse shooting. The success of this management has led to many of these areas rightly being worthy of protection. Every aspect of work grouse moor operators and gamekeepers undertake are already subject to regulation and legislation that continues to protect a tremendous array of wildlife and precious habitat. But in climate and nature emergencies we need to do more – and we will.
“Only this week, countryside organisations have asked government to endorse new science-based principles of game bird management that are in line with accepted international conservation standards and will ensure the delivery of Government’s ambitious 25 Year Environment Plan. Each shoot must demonstrate a net gain for wildlife and nature for all of society. The shooting community is constantly updating and improving the way it works.”