Petition for upland grouse moor licensing causes serious debate among shooting organisations, warning that such as system would cost jobs, depopulate the countryside and limit biodiversity.
In February of this year, a petition to implement a licensing system for grouse moors gained more than 10,000 signatures, resulting in a formal response from the government. The e-petition urged the public to prevent raptor persecution, but did not take into account the economic repercussions on the surrounding areas. The government responded, saying there were “no current plans” to introduce the licensing system.
Adrian Blackmore, the Countryside Alliance’s head of shooting, said: “Claims that licensing would deliver environmental outcomes are incorrect.
“Grouse moor owners in England and Wales spend more than £52m each year on the management of their moors, of which 90 per cent is privately invested. The income that can be generated by grouse shooting is used to help offset that substantial investment – the majority of which benefits the rural economy.
“Without grouse shooting, this management would cease.”