Bradford Council’s Liberal Democrat Group has given its backing to ending grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor, only days after the game hunting season opens.

Bradford Council’s Liberal Democrat Group has given its backing to ending grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor. The announcement from the third largest political party on the Council comes only days into the grouse shooting season, the last to be permitted on the public land under the local authority’s controversial license.

Wild Moors, which lobbied Bradford Council to cease leasing the land for game shooting, has welcomed the support. The organisation maintains that grouse moor management techniques deployed on the municipal estate are damaging to wildlife biodiversity, rare peatland habitat and impact negatively on those who use the facility. Over half of red- and amber-listed breeding birds have become locally extinct or declined by as much as 86 per cent on the moor, risking its conservation designations.

Following being briefed on the harm grouse shooting is causing to Ilkley Moor, Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, Leader of the Bradford Liberal Democrat Group, said:

“I have never supported grouse shooting for sport. A view my Liberal Democrat colleagues share.”

Bradford Council is the last local authority in the UK to allow grouse shooting on public land. Others, including Sheffield City Council and Peak District National Park Authority, already prohibit the practice on their moorland estates, having previously permitted it before, and now maintain the land using other methods.

John Grogan MP (Keighley & Ilkley), Ilkley Parish Councillor Henri Murison, a cross-party selection of District Councillors, Friends of Ilkley Moor, Chris Packham and Bill Oddie OBE are among those calling for Bradford Council to follow on by not renewing the grouse shooting license for Ilkley Moor. During a recent consultation on future management of Ilkley Moor, the largest number of submissions received by the local authority on any single topic urged an end to grouse shooting.

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