The move comes in the wake of mounting concern about the illegal poisoning or shooting of birds of prey, and large-scale culls of mountain hares. Raptors and hares are killed in order to protect grouse so that there are more available to be shot for sport.
A petition calling on the UK government to ban driven grouse shooting, which can kill thousands of birds a day, was launched last Sunday. By late Friday it had gathered over 10,800 signatures, enough to ensure that the government must respond.
One of the first to sign was Chris Packham, a presenter of the BBC’s Springwatch, Autumwatch and Winterwatch programmes. “Real conservationists have run out of patience with the illegal persecution of raptors and the continued abuse of our uplands which are drained, burned and denuded of life,” he said.
“We want the law to be upheld and sustainable management implemented, that’s all, and in a reasonable world that wouldn’t be a big ask.”