Animal Aid had to use the Freedom of Information Act to uncover the facts about horse slaughter in the UK. We discovered that in 2019 more than two thousand equines were killed for their meat in this country.
Astoundingly, when we asked the government the same question – it said: “We are unable to provide the information requested as it is commercially sensitive.”
We are demanding that the government takes action on horse slaughter, by limiting the number of horses bred each year. This will mean fewer horses end up as ‘surplus’ or unwanted – and fewer horses will end their lives at an abattoir.
“Despite scientific evidence that the badger cull may actually be INCREASING instances of bovine tuberculosis, the government has announced a geographical extension of the cull in autumn 2019. Please listen to the scientists, stop the cull & adopt alternative humane options to culling.”
On Saturday 10th August members of 3 Valley Vegans attended a rally in Bradford, the headquarters of Yorkshire Water, to urge the company to pull the plug on grouse shooting. Despite the rain it was an inspiring day. Why? Because the public are waking up to the horror that is grouse shooting.
An estimated 700,000 grouse are shot every year in Britain for ‘sport’. Grouse live on moorland and during a ‘shoot’ they are frightened by beaters who drive them towards men who shoot them. Many birds won’t be killed straight away and suffer a frightening and painful death. All so that very rich people (shoots often cost over a £5000 a day to participate in) can kill birds for fun.
Birds of prey and other animals such as badgers, stoats and weasels are also killed by snaring, poisoning and trapping. This is done by gamekeepers in order to reduce the number of young grouse killed before the shooting season starts.
Maintaining the moors for grouse shooting involves considerable environmental damage. Burning heather for instance alters the flow of water off the hills and contributes to flooding – something we know a lot about here in Calderdale. Burning also dries out the peat on the moorland resulting in increased losses of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere; at a time when we need to be storing more carbon in the soil if we want to reduce the effects of climate change.
Some say that grouse shooting brings money into an area but the evidence is clear: driven grouse shooting is a burden on the public purse (Sheffield Hallam University and Cormack Economics).
Yorkshire Water is a large land owner and they lease out 13 different moorland areas for grouse shooting. The money you pay to Yorkshire Water goes to fund this slaughter. Many people have contacted Yorkshire Water asking them to stop and demonstrations have taken place across the county.
“Chris Packham, Ruth Tingay and Mark Avery (Wild Justice) believe that intensive grouse shooting is bad for people, the environment and wildlife. People; grouse shooting is economically insignificant when contrasted with other real and potential uses of the UK’s uplands.”
Wild animals like penguins need very specific care, habitats and space to be able to live life to the fullest. Penguins used in events like this are exposed to large crowds and noise which are both major stressors for animals.
Yorkshire Water is one of the largest landowners in the region, leasing out moorlands for grouse shooting at the cost of wildlife, habitat, leisure and the regional economy. We – the undersigned – note that grouse shooting on its land is harming:
Wildlife – Overall biodiversity is decreased and unhealthily-high populations of game birds promoted. Mountain hare, foxes, stoats, weasels and corvids are purged by trap and bullet in order to increase red grouse numbers for the guns. Harmful management practices degrade the habitat required for specialist breeding bird species to survive.
Habitat – Intensive management practices such as burning – used to engineer an enlarged grouse population – has significant negative environmental impacts. This includes degrading blanket bog, alerting peat hydrology, increasing flood risk and decreasing biodiversity.
Leisure – The reputation of the uplands is damaged by grouse shooting, deterring tourists from taking leisure in areas where the practice takes place.
Regional economy – Grouse shooting displaces visitors to the uplands and tarnishes the reputation of areas heavily reliant on tourist income. Grouse moor management practices also contribute to flooding, costing the regional economy millions of pounds, threatenings livelihoods, homes, businesses, jobs and damaging transport infrastructure.
Grouse shooting is intrinsically incompatible with Yorkshire Water’s duty to provide good, long-term environmental stewardship of the region’s uplands for the benefit of wildlife, habitat, leisure and the regional economy. Yorkshire Water must stop the leasing of its moors for grouse shooting.
Supporting and inspiring a lifestyle free of animal-derived products