Shooting comes out on top in grouse debate

A red grouse

A petition calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting was overwhelmingly rejected following Westminster Hall debate yesterday (21 June). 

The petition was launched by TV presenter Chris Packham in 2019 and was signed by more than 100,000 people, triggering a debate by parliamentarians.

Grouse shooting received supported from a range of cross-party MPs during the debate, including those from constituencies in upland and grouse shooting areas.

The few MPs who spoke in opposition to grouse shooting were overcome by a raft of evidence provided by those in support of the activity.  Numerous examples were provided of how a ban on grouse shooting would negatively impact conservation, local economies, and the social well-being of those taking part.

While no party supported the petition’s motion, the SNP and Labour spokespeople favoured an alternative licensing system.

The debate provided a showcase for the work undertaken by landowners, gamekeepers and land managers in conserving Britain’s precious uplands. It demonstrated how shooting fits within rural communities and offers a proven viable option to protect landscapes, create jobs and support businesses.

The grouse debate is available to watch back in full here.

Want to read more on the grouse debate? Click here for BASC’s uplands manager Gareth Dockerty’s blog.