Popular among the elite and shooting enthusiasts, it's quite a profitable business estate owners generally receive £150 for every pair of birds shot down by individuals who take pleasure in pain and suffering, because rather than being killed instantly, thousands of birds will be left wounded and left to experience a lingering, painful death. Consequently it has become a flashpoint for tensions between the game industry and conservationists.
Found in northern England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, the iconic red grouse is shot in large numbers until the end of the season in December. Hunters either walk across the moorlands and taim at the startled grouse or shoot them out of the sky after they are beaten to the guns.The grouse don’t stand a chance, as it is basically a massacre. It is estimated that 100,000 birds are shot every day in the shooting season.
Gamekeepers also take unnatural steps to boost the grouse population for the perverse purpose of obliterating the birds later in the year, a practice highly detrimental to the local environment. Because grouse thrive on young heather,where they can nest and hide from predators the peat land is burned to encourage a fresh batch.
These intensive burning practices are responsible for serious environmental damage which occurs primarily on protected areas with 90% of English grouse moors being found on National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The EMBER (Effects of Moorland Burning on the Eco hydrology of River basins) study by the University of Leeds found that burning had impacts on peat hydrology, peat chemistry and physical properties, river water chemistry and river ecology. The Committee on Climate Change estimates that around 350,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year are emitted from peat and the vast majority (260,000 tonnes) results from the burning of grouse moors.
Grouse shooting for 'sport' depends on intensive habitat management which increases flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions. It is not just grouse who suffer in the grouse hunting season The British Association for Shooting and Conservation – a contradiction in terms if ever there were one – admits gamekeepers "control" (that is, kill) foxes, crows, weasels, stoats and other animals so hunters will have more grouse to shoot. Similarly, hawks, falcons, owls and other legally protected raptors are killed and have their nests destroyed to remove competition. No not a day then I would consider that glorious.
Write to your MP and express your concern about 'game' bird shooting
The glorious Twelfth
To celebrate the glorious twelfth
privileged men head to the moorlands,
to shoot birds out of sky for fun
with no respect at all for life,
singing voices they cruelly silence
wings to never take flight again,
innocence senselessly slaughtered
by morbid sadists seeking a thrill,
in the name of sport, tradition and pleasure
every year returning, yearning for a kill.