Grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor must come to an end, Member of Parliament for Keighley and Ilkley John Grogan has said in a public statement following a meeting with the grouse shoot.

The MP has publicly renewed his support for ending grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor ahead of an imminent decision which could see the practice stopped on publicly-owned Ilkley Moor.

Over half of protected breeding bird species have declined or become locally extinct on Ilkley Moor, government figures collated by the RSPB Northern England office show. The wildlife crash, which has negatively impacted on the moor’s population of specialist species, including Merlin, Dunlin and Short Eared Owl, could result in the loss of the site’s conservation designations if declines continue.

In a fresh public statement released following meeting with gamekeepers, Mr Grogan said:

“[T]ogether with the Chair of the Friends of Ilkley Moor I met campaigners for and against shooting on Ilkley Moor . My view remains the same as the Friends of Ilkley Moor that on a public Moor shooting is not compatible with the quiet enjoyment of the Moor by ramblers and others.”

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

Calls for Bradford Council to follow these successful precedents have received significant support from some of the region’s most prominent politicians. In addition to John Grogan MP, Alex Sobel MP (Leeds North West), Judith Cummins MP (Bradford South), Parish Councillor Henri Murison (Ilkley South) and a cross-party representation of District Councillors have Back an end.

During a recent consultation on the 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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