End Grouse Shooting on Ilkley Moor
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Bradford Metropolitan District Council ("the Council") is the last local authority in the United Kingdom to allow grouse shooting to take place on public moorland. We - the undersigned - note that:
1) Biodiversity has decrease on Ilkley Moor since grouse shooting returned in 2008. One of the causes has been an unnaturally high population of red grouse being bred for shooting, which impedes on other species.
2) Burning - an intensive management practice used to enlarge the grouse population - has negative environmental and economic impacts. This includes increasing flood risk, damaging blanket bog, altering peat hydrology and decreasing biodiversity, including protected bird species.
3) Grouse butts have been built on Ilkley Moor over blanket bog and related drainage installed - leading into a waterway which runs off the moor and through Ilkley town. This increases flood risk and has degraded important habitat.
4) Vehicles used to access grouse butts have been driven across Ilkley Moor. This has degraded the public land in multiple places and damaged blanket bog.
5) Lead ammunition is used in pursuit of grouse on Ilkley Moor. Lead shot is poisonous to wildlife - protected birds of prey, such as red kite and buzzards - with effects including decreased reproduction.
6) Members of local walking and running groups have raised the use of firearms - including during Summer months, when the moor becomes increasingly popular - causes fear and intimidation. Further, grouse shooting interests are placed above those who visit and reside next to the moor, with shooting dates not published, safety notices not posted at entrance points to the land and neighbours not notified when shoots are taking place.
7) Grouse shoot has gone beyond the authority granted in the contract awarded by the Council, including mounting security operations on shoot dates which do not comply with SIA regulations. The shoot has previously gone beyond its authority and been warned about its conduct, following employees verbally abusing members of the public and warning them off public land.
Grouse shooting is intrinsically incompatible with the statutory and policy requirements for management of public land. Bradford Metropolitan Council must end grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor.
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