MPs to debate grouse shooting today following petition to ban it

Supports of grouse shooting say the sport create jobs in rural areas
Supports of grouse shooting say the sport create jobs in rural areas

MPs are set to debate grouse shooting today, following an e-petition which gathered over 100,000 votes on the issue.

Parliament is to hear calls for grouse shooting to be banned, as campaigners against it argue the activity involves illegal killing of birds of prey, increases flood risks and means the deaths of "large numbers" of other predators.

But supporters of grouse shooting say it is an "integral" part of moorland management and supports rural jobs.

The petition stated: "Driven grouse shooting uses animals for live target practice, with thousands killed every day. Native predators are killed because they eat red grouse.

"Mountain hares are killed because they carry ticks that can spread diseases to grouse. Heather is burned to increase red grouse numbers for shooting. Grouse shooting is economically, ecologically and socially unnecessary. This is 'canned hunting'"

But the Countryside Alliance says grouse moor management has played a key role in creating and maintaining the UK's upland landscape, preserving and improving heather habitat and peatland.

The organisation says grouse shooting sustains some of the UK's rarest plants and wildlife, and promotes biodiversity.

The grouse shooting season runs from 12 August to 10 December.