English naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter and author, Chris Packham has called on the Government to ban driven grouse shooting in a video discussion with the Petitions Committee.
Today, the Petitions Committee has published a video and transcript of a recent discussion between naturalist Chris Packham, who has supported four petitions for grouse shooting to be banned, and Kerry McCarthy MP (then a member of the Petitions Committee).
One of the most significant concerns raised by Packham was the illegal killing of birds of prey on land managed for grouse shootings. There are calso oncerns that animals like foxes and weasels are being caught in traps, and can endure slow and painful deaths.
The discussion also covered the potential impact on the environment, including burning of peat which can negatively impact the habitat and biodiversity, can increase the risk of flooding, and contributes to climate change.
Since 2016, petitions on this issue have received over 400,000 signatures. Chris Packham’s most recent petition on the issue of driven grouse shooting received over 110,000 signatures, and was due to be scheduled for debate in Parliament before being cancelled due to social distancing rules.
The Government’s response to the petition stated that: “Grouse shooting is a legitimate activity providing benefits for wildlife and habitat conservation and investment in remote areas. DEFRA is working on the sustainable management of English uplands”.
The discussion was arranged by the Petitions Committee to help raise awareness of the issues being raised by petitioners and the public, and to hear the reasons why Chris Packam started the petition.