July 23, 2020
Last month we published an article welcoming the changes in Scottish wildlife law that banned the unlicenced killing of mountain hares. Although these new laws passed in Scottish Parliament, they have yet to come into force. The shooting lobby has confirmed that a mass killing of mountain hares will go ahead next week.
Gamekeepers have stated that the changes in law were a mistake. They argue that a self-proclaimed cull of the population will increase the population of red grouse. However, research conducted by Glasgow university, and the Macaulay Institute found that there was "no compelling evidence base to suggest culling mountain hares might increase red grouse densities".
Scottish Green Party politician Alison Johnstone has said that "with the shooting lobby promising to kill as many of these animals as possible on Scotland’s grouse moors, the silence from the Scottish Government on this is deafening".
The Scottish Greens have called for urgent measures to protect mountain hares in the period between open season resuming next month and their new protected status coming into effect.
Have a look at the Scottish Green parties article on this issue here.