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The Guardian view on game bird shooting: the threat is to nature | Editorial

Steps to limit the harm caused by driven-grouse and pheasant shoots can no longer be put off - and the hunting industry must cooperate Slowly, and with a great deal of care, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has placed itself on a collision course with the game-shooting industry. Following an announcement a year ago, the organisation - which is one of the largest conservation charities in Europe - ran a review and consultation with members. At the weekend, its annual meeting was told that unless a licensing scheme can be shown within five years to have lessened the environmental harm caused by driven-grouse shoots to precious upland habitats, the RSPB will push for this intensive form of the sport to be banned. Less intensive "walked-up" shoots would be unaffected.For pheasant and red-legged partridge shoots, which take place on farmland rather than uplands, a deadline looms much sooner: the RSPB is demanding a reduction in the number of these non-native birds being released, from the current figure of 57 million, within 18 months. Since some of the damage to wildlife associated with the dramatic recent intensification of shooting is widely recognised, it reflects extremely badly on the shooting industry that its initial reaction has been hostile. Even repeated calls to stop using lead shot, which is poisonous, have been resisted, although it is banned in other European countries and by the supermarket Waitrose. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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