As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 12 August 2019

Grouse shooting: Labour calls for review amid habitat concerns

Labour has called for a review of grouse shooting, saying it damages important natural habitats.

The four-month grouse shooting season begins on Monday - the Glorious Twelfth - and sees shooters head to moors in Scotland and northern England.

Labour said there are "viable alternatives", like simulated shooting.

The government said protecting the rare moorland environment and also hen harriers, a critically endangered bird of prey, were priorities.

Grouse moors cover around 550,000 acres of land in England and Scotland - an area bigger than Greater London.

During a shoot, the wild grouse are driven - meaning flushed into the open by a line of beaters - and fly over a line of people who shoot them.

According to the RSPB, the sport is both economically important and popular in the shooting community - but a lack of effective regulation has led to "unacceptable" consequences for the environment.

These consequences include gamekeepers illegally killing birds of prey which are predators of grouse, in order to keep grouse numbers high, as well as burning vegetation.

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