It’s approaching That Time again The Glorious Twelfth

When I was twelve, I went hunting with my father and we shot a bird. He was laying there and something struck me. Why do we call this fun to kill this creature [who] was as happy as I was when I woke up this morning.
Marv Levy

If you don’t have time to read the information below but would like to bring an end to grouse shooting scroll down for action you can take, including two demonstrations on the 12th August.

It’s approaching that time again, the so called  Glorious Twelfth (August 12th), the beginning of the Grouse shooting season. I have written about this atrocity of barbarism several times in this blog here here and the latest here

From beasts we scorn as soulless,
In forest, field and den,
The cry goes up to witness
The soullessness of men.
M. Frida Hartley

As I have said time and time again I cannot understand the mentality, the cold indifference to taking the life of another sentient creature by hunting or shooting, but to get pleasure from doing so is even more baffling.

Moreover few people who participate in blood sports ever question that there is anything wrong with killing animals for fun. In the video below the shooter shoots from the sky a beautiful bird in full fight, ending the life of this defenseless unsuspecting creature simply for pleasure. It turns my stomach, makes me sick inside as it does most people. That is why the majority of people in the UK and worldwide would rather see an end to such wanton killing as a result of so called sport.

Grouse Shooting is the sport of kings says the shooter in this video.

The sport of kings indeed, is this saying meant to elevate this cruelty? Hunting and shooting is more like the sport of psychopaths! It is sickening that anyone can glorify such a vile act of cruelty against other feeling thinking sentient beings. It shames us as a nation that we allow this barbarity to continue.  To be fair there may be a few who simply fail to comprehend what they do and there are those who even give up blood sports  however for the majority it is a much anticipated pass time undertaken with disregard to the suffering caused.

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow-creatures is amusing in itself.
James Anthony Froude,

The reality of grouse shooting

While for many people grouse shooting is deemed undesirable because of the harm it does to other creatures – including Hen Harriers and Peregrines as is emphasis of the video below – it has be said that grouse shooting is inhumane simply because it kills 700,000 grouse each year.   All animals to my mind are equal and for each individual animal his or her life is important. However if the concern over the killing of endangered species rather than the grouse itself brings about an end to grouse shooting all well and good. The important thing is that no animal is harmed or killed whether it is a grouse, a fox or a hen harrier.

A number of animals are killed deliberately because for one reason or another their existence interferes with the number of grouse available for shooters to use as living targets.

Published on Jul 7, 2017

“This film sets out the case for banning driven grouse shooting both on the grounds of its dependence on the illegal killing of birds of prey and for its wider impacts.”

So you see it is not only the unfortunate tiny grouse who are killed or harmed and left to die a slow painful death but other wild animals and even domestic animals become victims of this outdated cruelty of a bygone age.

Look carefully at the photo in the tweet below a  vehicle filled with beautiful mountain hares murdered –  yes I am going to say murdered what else is it – in order to protect grouse from hare-born disease. Basically killing one animal in order to have plenty of another animal to kill, simply for pleasure.

Humans also get maimed or killed participating in blood sports such as hunting and shooting. There are no statistics for the UK . However as far as I can ascertain there have been fatalities here.  A woman in Oxford back in March 2016 was left shaken after deer hunting accident when a bullet was shot through her window.  Whilst no one was injured things most certainly could have been quite different. There have also been significant and serious incidences of hikers killed during hunting in the USA and Canada,   Also in Italy during, a four month period 35 people were killed in hunting accidents. It can only be a matter of time before something like this happens here, in areas such as the Yorkshire and Durham Dales the Yorkshire Moors, anywhere where people have the right of way there is always that risk.

Concerning the UK and indeed world wide the licensing of guns to hunters and shooters puts a deadly weapon into the hands of people who have violent tendencies – there is surely no one who can argue that hunting and shooting is not an act of violence.  It is bizarre when you think about it but most licenses are issued to people to kill animals, though some licenses of course are issued to people for sports such as clay pigeon shooting. Here in the UK 567,015 people have a shotgun license ,  any one of them can use their weapon to kill not only helpless animals but people also, as was the case of Derrick Bird in Cumbria who shot twelve people with the gun he used to kill rabbits. Make no mistake these are deadly weapons which maim and kill helpless animals with the potential of killing defenseless humans also. The less weapons in public hands the less the chances of people being killed.

The following article includes a short video of the cruel and untimely death of animals killed by a gamekeeper in one of the UK’s National Parks. These animals are deemed to interfere with the numbers of grouse available for the shooters to kill.

Footage shows animals trapped and shot in a UK national park

Warning images which some people may find disturbing. 
http://www.aol.co.uk/travel/2017/07/11/footage-animals-trapped-shot-uk-peak-district-national-park/?ncid=webmail

I found the images upsetting, sickening as I find it disturbing that anyone can wantonly shoot helpless animals who have as much right to their lives as the person who shoots them, as do the grouse and every other being that lives.

Vast areas of our countryside are managed in this way to prepare for the massacre of these tiny helpless birds for no other reason than some disturbed sense of pleasure and enjoyment.

Why should a large percentage of our countryside be used and it’s inhabitants abused simply to satisfy the bloodlust of a very small group of over privileged people to kill helpless wild animals simply for enjoyment for four months of each year. Shooters are wealthy, some extraordinarily so as are the people who profit from organised shoots. A few years ago now while in a pub in the Yorkshire Dales my husband and I got into conversation with a former sheep farmer who was now retired. He told us that he had sold his land for the purpose of shooting as he was approached to do so and made an offer he could not refuse. A considerable amount I assume paid simply to have access to the land for four months of the year just to kill helpless birds, shoot them from the sky after driving them into the line of fire by terrifying them by a method referred to as grouse beating – hunting for grouse by trying to drive them towards the shooter by using flags, sticks, and other devices.

As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.
Pythagoras

Ten Reasons to oppose grouse shooting – note the petition is now closed
http://markavery.info/2014/06/05/ten-reasons-sign-epetition-ban-driven-grouse-shooting-england/     – The most important reason in my opinion is that the grouse are sentient beings and have the right to live as do all the other creature mained and killed during the preparation for grouse shooting.

While shooting and hunting are categorized differently they amount to the same thing and that is wanton violence and the massacre of defenseless sentient creatures for fun.

The article below from PETA focuses on reasons why hunting is cruel and nowadays unnecessary. The same is the case for grouse shooting

“Hunting accidents destroy property and injure or kill horses, cows, dogs, cats, hikers, and other hunters. In 2006, then–Vice President Dick Cheney famously shot a friend while hunting quail on a canned hunting preserve.16 According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, thousands of injuries are attributed to hunting in the U.S. every year—and that number only includes incidents involving humans.17″
https://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/wildlife-factsheets/sport-hunting-cruel-unnecessary/

Actions you can take to end grouse shooting.

There is limited organised action and as far as I am aware no current petitions. The last petition resulted in a debate in parliament but despite 123,077 signatures failed to bring about a ban on grouse shooting

Here is what I have been able to find, please take action if you possibly can.

Join protest ramble August 12th

If you live near or are able to get to Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire there is a protest ramble on August 12th.

Protest Ramble: No New Grouse Shooting Licence for Ilkley Moor
https://www.facebook.com/events/1956927037862012/

Here is more information about about grouse shooting and the protest ramble on Ilkley moor:
https://stoptheshoot.com/

At least the Bradford District council warn people of shooting.

In the Yorkshire and Durham dales which my family visit frequently for walking and just enjoying the countryside there are no such warnings. You can suddenly came across a shooting party in proximity to a popular foot path. While it offers an opportunity to express your opposition this is distressing for many people and could be a safety hazard. On one occasion police ignored our reports of shooters worrying sheep chasing after them in an attempt to remove them from the area saying that there was nothing they could do.

Join a protest to Make badger culling, fox hunting and driven grouse shooting history

For more information about the above protest:
https://www.facebook.com/events/239082489919954/

Also more information from the badger Trust

Thousands to descend on Downing Street

If you have a Twitter account you might post your protest and comments using hashtags such as the following:

#bangrouseshooting

#grouseshooting

Continue to write to your MP

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

It may well be a challenge to say the least particularly if your MP is conservative as the Tories tend to support blood sports, this is probably because a good majority participate in them and they therefore continue to put their own pleasures first, however dubious or unethical, before those of the vast majority who wish to see an end to such barbarities as shooting and hunting. Nonetheless please be persistent keep in mind fox hunting was eventually banned as a result of public pressure. 

Related links

Chris Packham calls to end Ilkley Moor grouse shooting

“Wildlife presenter Chris Packham is campaigning for an end to grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor, calling it “moorland vandalism”.
He made his comments in a statement to moor owners Bradford Council ahead of the grouse shooting season next week. The council said it permits shooting for just eight days each year, under a contract to be reviewed in 2018.
Ilkley Moor is the last publicly owned place in the UK to allow grouse shooting during the season.”

Continue reading
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-40815624

Grouse

“According to industry statistics an estimated 700,000 grouse are shot every year in Britain for ‘sport’ all over the UK. In driven shooting, red 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.”

Read more this article contains suggested actions you can take to end grouse shooting:
https://www.league.org.uk/grouse?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwJqPqfXG1QIV5xXTCh1jSwMpEAAYAiAAEgLxsfD_BwE

Whats Wrong with Grouse shooting

  1. Grouse shooting is a bloodsport People pay vast sums of money (1000-2000 a day) to blast a sentient creature out of the sky for enjoyment. A creature that has been driven towards them to make it easier. Whether or not money changes hands is not the issue though – shooting or hunting animals for amusement is something the Hunt Saboteurs Association is unequivocally opposed to. Grouse are known as the king of gamebirds because of their fast flight. This speed makes a clean kill difficult and results in birds being shot without instantly falling to the ground, and many fly on wounded.

Continue reading:
https://www.huntsabs.org.uk/restore/archive/features/wwwgs.html

Wildlife crash on Ilkley Moor prompts fresh calls to ban grouse shooting

CAMPAIGNERS have renewed calls for a ban on grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor as figures emerge which reveal a decline in over half of protected breeding bird species

Ban Blood Sport on Ilkley Moor (BBIM) has written to the leader of Bradford Council Susan Hinchcliffe noting that populations of breeding birds have fallen as a result of grouse shooting and related moorland management, and called on the local authority to end the blood sport on public land.

Read More:
http://www.ilkleygazette.co.uk/news/15422768.Wildlife_crash_on_Ilkley_Moor_prompts_fresh_calls_to_ban_grouse_shooting/

Videos

This video shows the shocking use of cruel traps. Note the petition referred to is closed.

Published on Sep 9, 2016

“Well done Terry Pickford for speaking the truth, exposing what gamekeepers would obviously prefer no-one to know. It is a terribly sad situation, but I for one must applaud your efforts over the last 4 decades, working to support and protect Hen Harriers and Peregrine Falcons in the Forest of Bowland, under such difficult circumstances. ” The petition referred to failed.

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Hunting: Can People Change?

Soon it will be the so-called Glorious 12th here in the UK, this being August 12th which begins the shooting season, when men , usually men but increasingly women, go out onto the moorland armed to the teeth and use tiny birds as live targets, shooting them out of the sky after terrifying them into leaving the safe cover of their habitats by what is called grouse beating – a method to drive them towards the shooters using flags, sticks, and other devices. During 1st October to 1 February, this barbaric behaviour is further added to by the commencement of the pheasant shooting season.Add to this deer hunting/stalking in some way or another depending on the breed or gender of deer occurs throughout most of the year. Rabbits of course can be killed with little or no restrictions all year round. What a shocking state of affairs exists when people can legally kill members of another species simply for fun, wantonly and callously take the lives of other sentient beings who have as much right as we to live out their natural life spans.

You can read more about shooting in this blog here here and here

Hunting, shooting, deer stalking are all the same thing namely the killing or massacre of other living beings, the different classifications are irrelevant to the unfortunate animals who suffer pain and death as a result of this inhumane pastime.

What makes people wish to go out into wild places and with deliberate intention shoot helpless defenceless animals? More to the point can such people change?

Below you can read what Lady Florence Dixie back in the 19th century said about hunting and other blood sports:

“What is it but deliberate massacre when thousands and tens of thousand of tame, hand-reared creatures are literally drawn into the Jaws of death and mown down in a particular brutal manner? A perfect roar of guns fills the air, louder tap and yell the beaters, above the din can be heard the heart-rendering cries of wounded hares and rabbits, some of which can be seen dragging themselves away, with both hind legs broken, or turning round and round in their agony before they die. And the pheasants ! They are on every side, some rising, some dropping, some lying dead, but the greater majority fluttering on the ground wounded, some with both legs broken and a wing, some with both wings broken and a leg, others merely winged, running to hide, others mortally wounded gasping out their last breath of life amidst the fiendish sounds which surround them. And this is called sport!… Sport in every form and kind is horrible, from the rich man’s hare-coursing to the poor man’s rabbit-coursing.
Lady Florence Dixie The Horrors of Sport

From reading the above you may be surprised to learn that Florence Dixie, a Scottish traveller, war correspondent, writer and feminist, once participated in blood sports with great enthusiasm including big game hunting. However during the 1890s her views on what is often termed field sports changed quite dramatically, in her book The Horrors of Sport she condemned blood sports as cruel.

We owe much to animals, and their rights are still shamefully neglected, while wild animals are absolutely unprotected. Many women are heedlessly, and others ignorantly cruel in this particular. … Experience has taught me the cruelty and horror of much miscalled sport. Wide travel, much contact with the animal world , and a good deal of experience in a variety of sports have all combined to make me ashamed and deeply regretful for every life my hand has taken.
From an interview with Charles W. Forward,1894

During her early life and travels Dixie enjoyed hunting,  raging from fox hunting to hunting wild life in Patagonia as the following extracts describe.

Dixie was an enthusiastic fox hunting participant:

‘The merry blast of the huntsman’s horn resounds, the view-halloa rings out cheerily on the bright crisp air of a fine hunting morning; the fox is “gone away,” you have got a good start, and your friend has too. “Come on,” he shouts, “let us see this run together!” Side by side you fly the first fence, take your horse in hand, and settle down to ride over the broad grass country. How distinctly you remember that run, how easily you recall each fence you flew together, each timber-rail you topped, and that untempting bottom you both got so luckily and safely over, and above all, the old farm-yard, where the gallant fox yielded up his life.’

Across Patagonia Florence Dixie

During 1878-1879 Dixie travelled with her husband, two of her brothers and a friend in Patagonia in South America. There, she hunted big game. Below is an extract from Across Patagonia in which she describes with gusto the chase and killing of an ostrich.

Fortunately, beyond a shaking, I am unhurt, and remounting, endeavour to rejoin the now somewhat distant chase. The ostrich, Gregorio, and the dog have reached the plain, and as I gallop quickly down the hill I can see that the bird has begun doubling. This is a sure sign of fatigue, and shows that the ostrich’s strength is beginning to fail him. Nevertheless it is a matter of no small difficulty for one dog to secure his prey, even at this juncture, as he cannot turn and twist about as rapidly as the ostrich. At each double the bird shoots far ahead of his pursuer, and gains a considerable advantage. Away across the plain the two animals fly, whilst I and Gregorio press eagerly in their wake. The excitement grows every moment more intense, and I watch the close struggle going on with the keenest interest. Suddenly the stride of the bird grows slower, his doubles become more frequent, showers of feathers fly in every direction as Plata seizes him by the tail, which comes away in his mouth. In another moment the dog has him by the throat, and for a few minutes nothing can be distinguished but a gray struggling heap. Then Gregorio dashes forward and throws himself off his horse, breaks the bird’s neck, and when I arrive upon the scene the struggle is over. The run had lasted for twenty-five minutes.

So what changed:

Florence Dixie eventually became “haunted by a sad remorse” for the death of a beautiful golden deer of the Cordilleras, who was unusually tame and trusting.  After this time Dixie’s views on field sports changed dramatically, and in her book The Horrors of Sport  she condemned blood sports as cruel. She eventually became a vegetarian and an advocate for animals, she wrote “A Prayer for Dogs” to help people realise the necessity of the proper treatment of domestic animals and the “The Union of Mercy”to help teach children not to torment birds and adults not to wear fur.

In more recent times the next convert from hunting describes his reasons for doing so:

Changing Attitudes: Why I Quit Hunting
A Shooting Ourselves in the Foot: The Sanitizing of Violence in Our Society Article from All-Creatures.org

In November 1989, I was shot by a deer hunter, while on my own property. The irresponsible hunter left me for dead, and my twelve year old son loaded me in a truck and drove me 40 miles to a hospital. That didn’t dampen my enthusiasm, though, and is not the reason I quit, but it did give me a solid taste of what the animals endure.

I guess I just started to understand that the animal I was looking at through a scope was not just a target, but a living thing. A thing that suffered when shot, a thing that I had no right to kill, though I had the privilege to do so, by virtue of paying another person a fee for a license. Think about that. The animal is minding his own business when you go into a store, pay a fee and walk out with a license to kill the animal, what a deal.

I shot the last animal that will ever fall to my gun in November 1992. I hunted until January, 1997.

In five years, I discovered I could love the outdoors, and it’s experiences, which I still dearly enjoy, without killing. The guns stay at home when I take to the field now, though I keep the rust off them by frequent trips to the range to break clay targets or make little groups of holes in paper, and I have turned more to shooting competition for satisfaction and achievement.

Continue reading:
http://www.all-creatures.org/sof/quithunt.html

Hunting/shooting – or plain and simply murder of the other living beings with whom we share our world –  is a pursuit of the past, at least it should be for it has no place in the modern world. As Isaac Bashevis Singer  once wrote: “There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.”

Whether it is foxes, deer, grouse, pheasants or rabbits and hares it is time to end the killing. No country can claim to be ethically progressive while it allows and even encourages it citizens to kill animals simply to satisfy some abhorrent pleasure.

Ban all hunting. 

Hunters and others involved educate yourself about hunting. Consider a more humane pastime.

9 Things No One Told You About Hunting

Hunters make up many excuses to justify their pastime. However, cruel, unnecessary killing—which is what hunting is—has no justification.

Continue reading:
https://www.peta.org/features/things-no-one-told-you-about-hunting/

More and more people are opposed to hunting.

Bristol Hunt Saboteurs are ‘snowed under’ with new members hoping to stop fox hunting

“With hunting firmly back on the agenda, a Bristol group who make it their business to disrupt fox hunts say they are ‘snowed under’ with new requests to join.

Using dogs to hunt foxes was banned under in 2004. Despite this members of the hunt sabs claim foxes are still regularly hunted with packs of dogs in the South West.”

Continue reading:
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-hunt-saboteurs-snowed-under-100127

Ways to help bring an end to hunting

Contact the League Against Cruel Sports
https://www.league.org.uk/

This next link includes suggestions about how you can help to stop hunting where you live. PETA USA but much of the information applies anywhere:

Why Sport Hunting Is Cruel and Unnecessary
https://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/wildlife-factsheets/sport-hunting-cruel-unnecessary/

Sources of some of the information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Florence_Dixie

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=q8Gg2sQEEsYC&dq=Than+I+like+to+see+a+trout,+Basking+in+a+shallow+pool+And+I+hate+to+see+the+lout+Drag+them+from+their+waters+cool&source=gbs_navlinks_s

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