Despite the prevalence of country pursuits around here -huntin', shootin', fishin' and Boy Racers not Tout Berwickshire are in favour of all of them: SIR, - The first day of the grouse-shooting season - fondly referred to by the shooting community as the ‘Glorious 12th’ - has just passed. Typically, wealthy shooters kill around half a million of these birds, whose population has been boosted to unnatural levels by intensive management of the UK's moorlands.
There are many reasons to oppose the killing of grouse. A large number of native birds and mammals who interfere with grouse shooting are trapped, poisoned or snared. Victims include stoats, weasels, and even iconic raptors such as hen harriers, red kites and golden eagles.
Also, an unnatural, heather-rich environment is created because the grouse thrive on young heather shoots. To create fresh young shoots, the heather is burned, which can harm wildlife and damage the environment.
There is nothing ‘glorious’ about shooting birds for the pleasure of extinguishing life. Readers who wish to find out more about the horrors of ‘game’ shooting and what they can do to help to campaign against this bloodsport, should contact Animal Aid for an information pack.
OK, this is written by an anti bloodsports organisation based in deepest Kent albeit published in the Berwickshire News
but certainly the piece about poisoning or trapping native birds will strike a chord here amongst many people who are ashamed that the Borders leads the UK in this regard including the destruction of a Golden Eagle not so long ago-as you can read in a previous post
I happened to chat to a gamekeeper from the Lammermuirs about the grouse season and the collateral damage arising from the protection of the game birds (protection withdrawn on 12 August)He got very upset about a 'townee' interfering in matters he could not possibly understand and said that the trapping, poisoning or shooting of raptors, buzzards etc were done for the best possible motives and to preserve the integrity of rural life without which, inter alia
, developers would soon run out of good building land.
And I must be careful as the gamekeeper advised me always to put such country sports into the context of the 'spirit of the age'. A similar suggestion, I believe, was once used by a Roman philosopher to explain the popularity of the Circuses at the Colosseum and the great fun had by all slaughtering the odd Christian.
Strictly in season of course
Thank you Bamboo Mouse for this image of a painting of a Red Grouse. Happy 11th August! See much more here
Labels: Beast of Berwickshire, Blood sports, Fishing, Hunting, Poisoning Birds, Shooting Season