Animal Aid

There's nothing 'glorious' about the twelfth

Posted 11 August 2010

With the so-called Glorious Twelfth now upon us, Animal Aid offers several reasons why this bird-killing festival is nothing to celebrate.

As well as the hundreds of thousands of grouse victims, a large number of native birds and mammals who interfere with the ‘sport’ are trapped, poisoned or snared. Victims include stoats, weasels, and even iconic raptors such as hen harriers, red kites and golden eagles. And that is just the start of the problems.

To encourage grouse, an unnatural, heather-rich environment is created because the birds thrive on young heather shoots. To create these fresh shoots, the heather is burned, which can harm wildlife and damages the peat bogs - drying them out and causing carbon to be released.

Furthermore, the harsh 'management' of moorlands causes grouse numbers to boom.

But as they overburden the landscape, they become weakened and fall prey to a lethal parasitic infection - strongylosis. Consequently, a cycle of population boom and bust is the norm on Britain's grouse moors.

Finally, large quantities of lead shot are discharged, which is toxic to wildlife.

In short, the 12th of August on Britain's grouse moors is anything but glorious.

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