Victory | Greens End Hare Slaughter

Some remarkably good news. The Scottish parliament has just voted to protect Mountain Hares. This is a huge blow to the intensive grouse industry which has been massacring hares in huge numbers to ‘protect’ the artificially high numbers of Red Grouse they farm for the gun. Like birds of prey, stoats, weasels, corvids and whatever else the ‘industry’ decide should be eradicated, Mountain Hares have been relentlessly targeted much to the gloating amusement of the estate’s gamekeepers who have been caught parading vehicles rammed to the gills with dead hares or standing unconcernedly alongside rows of corpses far too often – which undoubtedly has helped motivate the public to vote in favour of their victims and against them.


Some incredible news: the mass slaughter of mountain hares is over thanks to your help. Parliament just voted for my amendment that makes them a protected species, with only the Tories opposing us.

The only reason we got this over the line is because of you. You and 22,500 others who supported my amendment over the past couple of days. This created such a huge pressure on parliamentarians to do the right thing that even the SNP, who have resisted action to protect hares for many years, voted for protection.

The Scottish Greens will always champion the protection of Scotland’s wildlife. We won’t stop here, and will keep on fighting for progress. You can be part of the change by joining us today. Everything we do and the impact we have is thanks to our members, and, with as we look to the Holyrood elections next year we need you more than ever!

Alison Johnstone MSP


The news has been widely welcomed by everyone with a genuine interest in protecting wildlife – which perhaps doesn’t include the Scottish Conservatives who voted against the amendment, or the ridiculous Scottish Gamekeepers Association who Raptor Persecution UK quoted yesterday saying that stopping the mass slaughter of mountain hares on grouse moors ‘will affect human beings’ lives’ and ‘worsen the conservation status of the mountain hare‘. Yeah, killing vast numbers of an animal always does wonders for its conservation status…

Back in the real world, campaigning Scottish wildlife charity OneKind posted tonight that “This is HUGE! Around 26,000 mountain hares are killed to benefit the driven grouse shooting industry each year“.The Revive coalition said on hearing the news, “One part of the circle of destruction that surrounds grouse moors is now broken“. Indeed and with mounting pressure on the illegal persecution of birds of prey, the banning of muirburns this spring, and – watch this space – more campaigns against the use of snares, the days look seriously numbered for the minority hobby of blasting birds out of the sky for a fun day out…