The League Against Cruel Sports gets it wrong again

hen_harrier-NE Wildlife
North East Wildlife

An ‘independent’ report by the LACS has been exposed as propaganda that is openly contradicted by a scientific review from Scottish Natural Heritage. The Intensification of Grouse Moor Management in Scotland, recently released with an accompanying video, and partly written by Andy Wightman, a Green Party activist, masquerades as a science-based report. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation has condemned it as:

  • Unbalanced and selective – in that it downplays the socio-economic contribution of grouse shooting to upland communities
  • Misleading – in that it makes unreferenced sweeping statements based on a single case or no evidence at all
  • Inaccurate – it ignores the benefits of grouse moor management and cherry picks the evidence

Director of BASC Scotland, Dr Colin Shedden, said; “If you want to know what’s really happening on Scottish grouse moors, ignore extremists such as the League Against Cruel Sports and look at the facts. These are very sensibly set out in A Review of Sustainable Moorland Management, the report produced by the Scientific Advisory Committee of Scottish Natural Heritage.”

In its report SNH says; “We recognise the importance of encompassing the three pillars of environmental, social and economic sustainability in developing an ecosystem approach to sustaining moorlands.” All three pillars are misrepresented or ignored in the LACS report.

This particularly attacks pest control, disregarding the established science quoted by SNH that; “experimental evidence shows that control of crows and foxes is effective in increasing post-breeding and spring red grouse densities as well as having similar beneficial effects for other ground-nesting birds, including lapwing, golden plover, curlew and hen harrier. By the same token, when grouse moor management is withdrawn from an area, numbers of crows and foxes increase, whilst those of breeding waders and hen harriers decline.”

Alan Balfour, the BASC Council member representing Scotland said; “Setting a good policy depends upon accurate evidence and responsible debate. Producing a report intended to deceive policy makers and the public is dishonest and a mark of how irresponsible extremist bodies such as the League Against Cruel Sports can be.”

A Review of Sustainable Moorland Management can be read here.

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