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Showing posts with the label land ownership. hunting

Killing nature for profits

Mountain hares are facing extinction in large parts of the Scottish Highlands because landowners are killing thousands of them every year in order to protect the grouse shooting industry, wildlife experts have warned. The distinctive mammals are being shot and snared by gamekeepers on grouse moors due to fears that ticks carried by hares spread a viral disease, which can be fatal to grouse. However, experts have poured doubt on claims that killing hares protects grouse.

“A preventable catastrophe has befallen the mountain hare,” said Dr Adam Watson, a veteran mountain ecologist. “This is a national scandal.” This was “due to deliberate efforts by estates to eradicate them,” he said. “Gamekeepers on several estates have told me that they were instructed to reduce hare numbers and to try to eradicate them.”

Watson condemned the government’s wildlife conservation agency, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), for failing to protect mountain hares under European law. “SNH has known what has be…

The killing fields - something to grouse about

There is an old Gaelic saying  that "everyone has a right to a deer from the hill, a tree from the forest, and a salmon from the river" yet that salmon that yesterday was miles from the land is instantly claimed by the landlord the moment it reaches the shore.

 The image of the Scottish Highlands as vast and empty and full of sheep is misleading. The Highlands were once heavily populated. It is estimated that 85-90% of the population were forcibly cleared from the land. There exists a delusion widely held in Scotland that the Highlands are a paradise in a state of natural grace, which might more properly be held in public ownership. The Scots must be told again and again until they start to believe it, that their hills are in reality intensively and expensively managed by private landowners

The Glorious Twelfth of August is the start of the red grouse shooting season. Scotland’s sporting estates have seen their profits soar after massively hiking the fees they charge for shoo…