11 August 2023
The Green Party has called for grouse shooting season which is due to begin tomorrow (August 12), on what is known as the Inglorious 12th, to be cancelled following reports of avian influenza in red grouse in Scotland .
Green peer Natalie Bennett has called for all shooting activity to stop and for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to investigate how prevalent Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is among birds on grouse moors.
“We have seen reports today that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, the disease that is cutting such a swathe through our wild bird populations, has just been found in red grouse in Scotland.
“Grouse moors, with their maximum annual population, are a bio-disaster waiting to happen tomorrow when the shooting season opens.
“It’s extremely concerning that, as things stand, tomorrow will see people walking and driving all over the moors, with their shotguns at the ready, about to pick up at least some of those lead-laced carcasses and spread them around the country.
“How, even given the prominent position of grouse moor owners and shooters in our corridors of power, can this biorisk be accepted?
“All shooting due to take place must be halted while this risk is fully investigated to ensure the safety of both wildlife and people across the country.”
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