Regulate grouse shooting sector
IN response to large-scale killing of mountain hares on Scottish private estates, Scotland’s First Minister has condemned this and warned that legislation is being considered to protect the “iconic” species (“Anger over footage of mountain hare killings”, The Herald, March 30).
The perpetrators of the killing of hares describe their activities as “management” to justify an operation that is simply an organised slaughter of a species of Scotland’s mammals. The reason: they compete with red grouse for their main food, heather.
Red grouse are sustained at artificially high densities to support a shooting industry on many of Scotland’s sporting estates. As well as hare culling, this industry is used to justify heather burning, which contributes to global warming. Additionally, regular heather burning prevents the succession of this monoculture to a diverse ecosystem. The grouse shooting industry needs to be regulated. Fortunately, it seems that the Scottish Governmentis taking this need very seriously.
Dr Philip R Ratcliffe,
Sandbank Road, Dunoon.