Campaign Win: M&S drop grouse
Retailer to stop stocking game bird following pressure from campaigners
After pressure from campaigners, including Ethical Consumer, Marks and Spencer has announced that it will no longer sell red grouse in its stores.
Campaigners had threatened the company with a boycott over the persecution of birds of prey on grouse moors.
Last year the RSPB announced that the hen harrier, a bird of prey once common on Britain's uplands, had failed to raise a single chick across the whole of England.
The hen harrier's natural habitat are heather moorlands which are increasingly being managed by landowners as grouse shooting estates.
A recent report by Ethical Consumer confirms that illegal persecution by gamekeepers is a key element, but paints a more complex picture of intensification, greed and ignorance on some of our few remaining wild spaces.
According to the The Times M&S had hoped to sell grouse much more widely after the start of the grouse-shooting season next month, on the Glorious Twelfth. However, after being accused of supporting an industry linked to wildlife crime, M&S decided not to sell grouse until its suppliers could prove that they were abiding by a new code of practice.
Tim Hunt of Ethical Consumer said, "We are delighted that M&S has reconsidered its position. It has gone to great length to protect the environment through its plan A commitments and this action further demonstrates that the company is beginning to take its ethical commitments seriously."
"We now hope that others with links to the industry will re-avaluate their positions so that we can ensure the survival of hen harriers in the UK."
James Robinson, RSPB’s head of nature policy, welcomed M&S’s efforts to improve wildlife protection on grouse moors but said that it should name the estates they feel have not abided by the new code of practice. “I don’t see what there is to hide. They say where other food has been sourced,” he told the Times.
Read more about the campaign to save the hen harrier >
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