The grouse shooting industry has been fighting a rearguard battle lately, attempting to sell its message of ‘Game is Good’ amidst a tidal wave of reports of raptor persecution, the widespread use of traps and snares, the killing of Mountain Hares, and the routine burning of moorland. Adding to their woes is an increasing backlash against killing hundreds of thousands of wild birds for ‘fun’ and arising awareness of animal sentience.
Whoever grouse shooting is paying to promote their industry is not doing a very good job, because far from convincing an ever-more sceptical public their message is falling on deaf ears. Earlier this month data gathered by League Against Cruel Sports Scotland as part of its work with the Revive Coalition for grouse moor reform revealed that seven in ten of those polled were opposed to grouse shooting for sport (see Huge Majority of Scots opposed to grouse shooting).
Cue the sort of whiny ‘fake news’ claims that have become so common these days. Proponents of blasting birds out of Scotland’s skies suggested that a poll by the League – despite it being conducted independently – would of course be skewed towards a ban.
It’ll be interesting then to see how they respond to a poll by The Herald (a Scottish broadsheet which is the longest running national newspaper in the world and the eighth oldest daily paper in the world) which has closed after asking its readers ‘Are you For or Against Grouse Shooting’ .
It has returned an almost identical result to the League’s polling:
Hard to argue with that (though of course they will). The truth is that grouse shooting is simply NOT the popular ‘tradition’ that shooting wishes it was. It has always been a sport for the wealthy and ignored or tolerated by a silent majority. That majority is no longer silent and has no intentions of ever again ignoring the harm and damage the industry causes.