23/07/2015
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Grouse shooting petition takes off

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A new online petition to ban driven grouse shooting has garnered 3,623 signatures in just two days, as this story went live. Set up by Mark Avery on 21 July, the petition describes grouse shooting as a ‘sport’ that depends on intensive habitat management which damages protected wildlife sites, increases water pollution, flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions, and too often leads to the illegal killing of protected wildlife such as Hen Harriers.

The ongoing persecution of Hen Harriers by some in the grouse shooting industry is a hugely contentious subject, with five male birds ‘disappearing’ this year. This subject, as well as the role played by commercial shooting, is covered in the latest issue of Birdwatch, which is on sale today. It includes a personal comment from Mark Avery, as well as an exclusive extract from his new book Inglorious, along with a special reader offer to buy this important title at a great discounted price.

Also covered is the full programme of events for this year’s Hen Harrier Day. Taking place on 9 August, the day aims to bring awareness of the plight of this raptor to the general public. Events take place across the country.

The issue also includes an in-depth look at the identification of Dunlin, White-rumped and Curlew Sandpipers, a major new urban wetland being built in east London, the best seawatching sites to see the most special species, and an exciting trip to the Peruvian Andes. You'll also find the usual news, reviews, advice and, of course, Bill Oddie's column.

The petition to ban driven grouse shooting closes in six months’ time, on 21 January 2016. If it can pick up 100,000 signatures by then it will be considered for debate in parliament. Add your name by clicking here.

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Written by: Birdwatch news team