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MOORLAND ASSOCIATION STATEMENT ON LABOUR PARTY MANIFESTO

13th June 2024

The Moorland Association welcomes the  commitment within the Labour Party’s manifesto, published today, that Labour, if elected, will promote biodiversity, and protect England’s landscapes and wildlife.

However, we are alarmed by the statement that a Labour government would ban the use of non-lethal snares.

This would have devastating consequences for wildlife in the uplands of England, not least curlew, lapwing, golden plover, redshank, oystercatcher and merlin, some of the UK’s rarest species.

Open heather moorland is among the rarest habitat on the planet, and is protected and maintained by Moorland Association members.

Andrew Gilruth, chief executive of the Moorland Association, said: “Our view is that to protect our most vulnerable wildlife we need to keep every conservation tool we have. Grouse moors are vital strongholds for rare birds precisely because the number of predators is controlled.

“The idea of removing the use of traps that meet international humaneness standards, such as the modern fox snare, will not be welcomed by the ground nesting birds that face being eaten alive – only the animal rights movement could persuade a political party that this is progress.

“We very much hope that the Labour Party will meet us to discuss the fundamentals of moorland management and the balance required to protect our most vulnerable wildlife”.

There are clear regulations and a code of best practice on the use of snares, to humanely and effectively trap foxes. Any non-target species is released unharmed.

The Moorland Association will continue its engagement with Members of Parliament and will seek to work closely with whichever party forms the next government.

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Did You Know?

75% of Europe’s remaining upland heather moorland is found in the UK – 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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