England –-(Ammoland.com)- As we have seen over the last 18 months some things in politics are entirely unpredictable, but that does not mean that other things are not. One of the absolutely predictable aspects of political life is that animal rights activists will campaign for things to be banned, and that those campaigns will based on their prejudice and warped perception rather than any reasonable measure of animal welfare.
So it is that on Tuesday that on Tuesday the House of Commons Petitions Committee considered a petition to ‘ban driven grouse shooting’ promoted by a prominent activist with the support of the usual motley band of ‘celebrity’ animal rightists. The nonsenses of this proposal are endless. Apparently its supporters would not have a problem with the Maharajah Duleep Singh’s famous bag of 220 brace of walked up grouse to his own gun in the 19th century, but would prohibit a 50 brace driven day. They claim that grouse moor management contributes to nearly every evil in the world from global warming to flooding, but their real motivation is betrayed by the language of the petition’s creator. He says that grouse shooting is “a conflict between a sport for the rich and our wildlife” and says that a Conservative government will not ban grouse shooting because it is “the Tory party at play”. Students of the hunting debate will recognise the bigoted language and the political tactics.
The outcome of this parliamentary process is also entirely predictable. The Petitions Committee will hold a short evidence session and schedule a parliamentary debate, probably in the House of Commons overflow chamber Westminster Hall. The usual MPs who support every animal rights cause will give us the benefit of their knowledge of grouse shooting. As an example one of those, shadow Minister Paul Flynn recently stated that his objections to grouse shooting were “breeding, battery housing, artificial rearing, road-kill, killing of sentient birds with gratuitous cruelty”.
In response MPs who actually have grouse moors in their constituencies will underline the utter nonsense of the arguments for a ban. The only area of agreement will be that all management practices, especially in relation to raptors, must be entirely legal. The Government will then, in all probability, reaffirm it has no plans to interfere with such an environmentally, economically and socially important activity in the uplands.
Logic would suggest that this should be the end of the matter, but logic and the animal rights movement have a distant relationship. An extremist minority will continue with petitions and other political activity aimed at grouse shooting. We will continue to counter them and have the evidence on our side. We can never be complacent as we know that prejudice can trump principle in politics, but we can and will ensure that there is never any legitimate case to restrict any legitimate shooting activities.