Walkers on some of the region’s most popular moorlands are being encouraged to report suspected wildlife persecution by a local conservation organisation.
The appeal from Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors follows large numbers of wild animals being trapped, snared and shot on moorland leased for grouse shooting by Yorkshire Water. Gamekeepers on the utility company’s catchments have begun an annual drive to kill off wildlife which interferes with grouse shooting operations.
Scores of snares have been set targeting foxes on Stanbury Moor at Haworth – including in recent snow storms which risked captured animals freezing to death. The contraptions have been widely condemned by animal welfare organisations because of the risk of strangulation, wounding and death to wildlife.
This follows a tawny owl being shot dead on Wessenden Head and Digley Moor at Holmfirth in September. The bird of prey was discovered with shotgun wounds inflicted at close range, before being stuffed into a wall.
An interactive map showing locations of traps and snares on the utility company’s moorland has been published by BBYM to warn visitors of their whereabouts. The wildlife organisation has also released a practical guide detailing how to detect and report wildlife persecution.
Luke Steele, Spokesperson for Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors, says:
“Walkers are in a unique position to help protect wildlife on Yorkshire Water’s moors where suspected persecution is encountered. This may include finding injured animals in traps or snares, birds of prey which have been shot or individuals simply acting suspiciously.
“We urge those who visit Yorkshire Water’s moorland to familiarise themselves with the signs of wildlife persecution, then come forward with any suspected incidents. It’s a grim reality that wildlife is being wiped out by trap, snare and gun on some of the region’s most popular moorlands to boost red grouse numbers for shooting.”
Any suspected wildlife persecution can be reported to Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors at http://www.stoptheshoot.com/contact-us/