Ariane Burgess in the Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Green Party has condemned the practice of  grouse shooting, following the beginning of the annual season on August 12. The season starts on the so-called ‘Glorious 12th’, but the Scottish Greens have said there is northing glorious about grouse shooting.

The Party’s rural affairs spokesperson, Ariane Burgess MSP, has branded it “a festival of violence” and a “cruel and outdated hobby.”

At present the Scottish Government is progressing the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill, which will introduce a licensing system for grouse shooting and the practice of muirburn.

The Scottish Government argues these measures are a necessary response to incidents of illegal persecution of Scotland’s iconic birds of prey, such as the golden eagle, which have occurred on or near to grouse moors over several years. The measures on licensing muirburn are also designed to protect peatlands which have a vital role in locking up carbon emissions.

The Scottish Greens have long opposed bloodsports. The party has welcomed the introduction of the bill, which was a key commitment in the Bute House Agreement – the agreement between the Scottish Greens and the SNP to form the current government. The Scottish Greens believe the bill is a vital step for protecting Scotland’s iconic nature and environment.

Burgess said: “There is nothing glorious or humane about the 12th of August. It is a festival of violence. Far too much of our land is given to this cruel and outdated hobby. The intensive burning and degradation of our landscapes to try and improve the habitat for red grouse so that there are more of them to be shot is unnecessary, and damages the local environment and our climate.

“The Scottish Government’s Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill will be an important step to protecting our wildlife and curbing the environmental degradation and ritualistic cruelty that lies at the heart of this so-called sport. Our world renowned landscapes and nature are for all of us. They must serve local communities, rather than the interests of the small number of wealthy people who pursue these niche and elitist bloodsports.”

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