Leading animal protection charity OneKind has renewed its calls for an end to the mass killing of mountain hares in Scotland on the last day of the open season.
Mountain hares are protected by a closed season which runs from tomorrow (1st March) until 31 July. Outside of this period, the animals are killed as part of large-scale culls to manage land for red grouse shooting and can also be shot freely for sport.
In September last year, OneKind presented its 11,000-strong petition to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee in a bid to end the mass killing of mountain hares in Scotland. A further 8,000 people have also signed a petition from the charity asking VisitScotland to stop promoting recreational mountain hare killing.
OneKind Director, Harry Huyton said: “Tomorrow, Scotland’s mountain hares will be given some respite as the open season comes to a close. The mass killing of these iconic animals – apparently to protect sporting interests – is unjustified, unregulated and unethical. We’re looking to the Scottish Government to take urgent action and end the killing before the open season starts again.”
“We want to see complete protection of mountain hare which would mean an end to both culls and commercial hunting”
Last month, Harry Huyton appeared on BBC’s Countryfile where they camera crew filmed a mountain hare cull for the first time.
Speaking of the show, Harry said:
“The mountain hare cull featured on BBC’s Countryfile made for difficult watching, but I’m grateful to the programme for shining a light on this practice and showing the public what really goes on, on Scotland’s grouse moors.
“I hope this has taken us another step forward to offering Scotland’s mountain hares the protection they so rightly deserve.”