Cancel the "Taste of Game Dinner"
Cancel the "Taste of Game Dinner"
Why this petition matters
Derby Museums have hired their venue to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and we urge them to reconsider. We opposed to the shooting of animals for sport, both because of our moral objection to killing for sport and because of the unnecessary suffering and collateral damage to wildlife and the environment that is caused by commercial shooting. These problems are particularly notable in the driven grouse shooting industry.
According to industry statistics an estimated 700,000 grouse are shot every year in Britain for ‘sport’.
Grouse are frightened from their heather homes by a line of beaters shouting and stomping to drive them towards eagerly awaiting men with guns. The grouse don’t stand a chance, as it is basically a massacre. Many will not be killed outright, but will be shot and wounded before hurtling to the ground where they will lie maimed, suffering and terrified.
Burning heather has been a longstanding practice on grouse moors to encourage the growth of heather for feeding and in which grouse can nest and hide from predators.
With the recent flooding in Derby it is important to highlight the environmental damage. By conserving blanket bogs in the uplands, we can reduce the chance and impact of floods. When blanket bogs are in good condition, they are wet, boggy places covered in vegetation, including a lot of sphagnum moss. The mix of plants on a healthy bog makes the surface of the land rough, so when it rains heavily they slow the water down significantly, making a huge difference to how long it takes for that water to get to the bottom of the hill.
When blanket bogs are in poor condition, particularly where peat is exposed, rain water flows quickly off the moors. Bare peat is very poor at absorbing water and water runs easily over its smooth surface. Furthermore, due to extensive erosion of the soil over time, drainage gullies have developed on many of our moors, providing perfect conditions for water to be funnelled into streams and rivers – in other words, creating perfect conditions for flooding.
The likely increase in extreme weather, including flooding, due to climate change comes with an increased risk of higher levels of rainfall and therefore a greater chance of communities being flooded. Sphagnum moss can absorb up to 20 times its weight in water. So during the summer, when it rains heavily following dry weather, healthy blanket bogs can absorb some of the water. This keeps water on the hill at source for longer, reducing the likelihood and impact of flooding in the watercourses below.
There is environmental damage caused by driven grouse shooting. Intensive management practices are intended to make the bogs more productive for farming and grouse shooting, but the private benefits they produce are greatly exceeded by the environmental damage they entail in the destruction of public goods. Due to this poor management, whilst England’s blanket bogs should be a net carbon sink, they are instead releasing 350,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere each year, with 75% of these emissions a direct result of burning. This is the equivalent emissions of 140,000 cars per year.
Illegal raptor (bird of prey) persecution on grouse moors is relentless. Other bird of prey species, including owls, buzzards, golden eagles and peregrine falcons, have also borne the brunt of this illegal persecution. However, this relentless wildlife crime is not just limited to birds of prey. Badgers have had their setts dug out and even been targeted with poison.
As well as the grouse that suffer at the hands of driven grouse shooting, millions of other animals are harmed and persecuted. In their bid to have as many grouse as possible shot for sport and profit, gamekeepers wage a war of persecution on animals that predate on them.