Hundreds of thousands of animals being killed on moors, campaigner claims

Hundreds of thousands of birds and animals are being killed on Scotland’s moors every year, campaigners have estimated.

Libby Anderson, of the animal charity OneKind, said creatures were being killed by traps and snares on the country’s grouse moors.

Speaking at a fringe event at the SNP conference in Aberdeen, she said: “How many animals are being killed in this manner? The short answer is we don’t know. We can only estimate that it’s hundreds of thousands.”

Ms Anderson, OneKind’s policy officer, said the basis for that was the diary of one gamekeeper, which was made public during a trial for animal cruelty offences.

This showed that one individual recorded 1,087 animals being killed over the course of one year, she said.

“These sentient individuals are undoubtedly suffering,” she added.

Ms Anderson spoke out ahead of the publication of the Untold Suffering report by the Revive Coalition – which brings together environmental and animal charities which are pressing for grouse moor reform.

Earlier at the conference, Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham pledged there would be further action on land reform to tackle “the distorted patterns of land ownership in Scotland”.

She said that “concentrated land ownership is continuing to create shortages of land, stifling growth and opportunity” in Scotland.

While Holyrood has passed land reform legislation, the Environment Secretary stressed: “There is still a lot more to do.

“Ahead of the 2021 election, I intend to set out the next stages in our land reform journey and we will continue to address the distorted patterns of land ownership in Scotland.”

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