Readers who are able to manage to keep up with the pace surrounding the complex and controversial ‘discussion’ around Driven Grouse Shooting will be aware that the long awaited date for Parliament to hear evidence on the issue has been released.
Tuesday 18 October 2016, will see Dr Mark Avery and Jeff Knot of the RSPB offer robust evidence for the case to Ban Driven Grouse Shooting whilst, as yet un-named representatives from the Countryside Alliance and the Moorland Association will offer evidence that the sport should not be banned. Why are the names of those supporting driven grouse shooting not named?
The Parliamentary website is also inviting submissions to be sent to that same Committee Inquiry:
Scope of the inquiry (terms of reference)
The Petitions Committee has decided to hear evidence about grouse shooting before a debate in Parliament.
The Committee would also welcome written contributions from people who want to share their expertise on this subject. In particular, the Committee would welcome evidence on the following points:
- Should the law on grouse shooting be changed? If so, how?
- What effect does grouse shooting have on wildlife and the environment?
- What role does grouse shooting play in rural life, especially the rural economy?
The website also provides links to the two epetitions on their site, one which has achieved this ‘discussion’ the other which seeks to “Protect grouse Moors and grouse shooting”. There is also the opportunity to link through to the Countryside Alliance paper which extols the virtues of grouse shooting and its many (perceived) benefits. As with much of the marketing material provided by pro driven grouse shooting and therefore intensive upland moorland management, it does not provide any validated or peer reviewed science to underpin the claims. Perhaps they will be made available in due course?
Anyone willing or able to submit evidence to the Inquiry is invited to do so and has until Wednesday 5 October to do so. Click here for more details.
As more information becomes available on the issue we will update the blog. Particularly the list of MPs who will be provided with (we assume) the written submissions and then hear the oral evidence on 18 October.
To date the only list made available relates to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shooting and Conservation, see here. It is interesting to note, perhaps, that the secretariat is provided by the BASC. The Chairman is Geoffrey Clinton-Brown) Con. (The Cotswolds). As well as supporting the Govt position on bTB he also opposes the ban on snares. It maybe that as the Chairman he will hold a neutral view on matters placed before the group, it may be that as Chair he is required to act with impartiality? It would seem that the Vice-Chair Lord Cunningham of Felling has more experience in environmental politics?
Please, those of you who signed the petition (and even if you didn’t but wish you had) write to your constituency MPs* asking for them to make your views known. All MPs are entitled to attend the Inquiry (currently there are 650, so if each were to be given a 10 minute slot then the Inquiry would need around 108 & 1/2 hours, so approaching three weeks? We have one of our Humberhead Levels MPs prepared to attend the debate, diary commitments permitting. We are grateful for the letter received back from The Rt Hon Andrea Leasom MP on the issue. We are informed by the SoS that “grouse shooting” delivers “water regulation and carbon storage” services. We will seek clarification on those claims, particularly set against the costs of utility company treatment of water to remove sediments and colour from the drinking supply. Similarly the costs through the public purse of restoration projects in the uplands where management has damaged deep peat through burning etc.
See a recent post where details of a Durham University study condemns upland burning as a management practice. See also the link below:
A well researched and referenced critique of the sport is available, and there is also a paperback version, which contains an update chapter.
* To find your MP visit TheyWorkForYou.