We are asking everyone who cares about shooting to write to the Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer (M&S), Marc Bolland, because, barely three weeks before the Glorious Twelfth, it has abandoned plans to expand the number of stores in which it was to have sold grouse. Instead it will not be selling grouse at all in 2014. M&S says it is doing this because it cannot agree “environmental and biodiversity standards” with “key stakeholders”. This came as a surprise as M&S had not been discussing such standards with its suppliers or shooting organisations. What it actually means is that the RSPB, which is actively campaigning against driven grouse shooting, has complained about grouse sales and M&S has rolled over. Read on to write to M&S via our automated system.
M&S sells a wide range of other game products and plans to expand its game offering this winter, which we welcome, but we are very concerned about the precedent its decision not to sell grouse sets. By bowing to a political campaign run by the RSPB it is making a public statement based only on the views of those opposed to grouse shooting and disregarding the huge environmental, social and economic benefits that grouse moor management brings.
And what is next? The RSPB campaigns against lead shot. Is M&S going to bow to pressure to source only game shot with alternatives despite there being no scientific evidence that it does any harm? The RSPB doesn’t like the rearing and releasing of pheasants and partridges. Is M&S only going to source birds that can be certified as wild bred?
The red grouse is iconic and whilst most people who shoot may never have the opportunity to shoot one, the attack on grouse shooting is just the thin end of the wedge in the campaign against shooting as a whole. That is why we are asking you all to write to M&S letting it know exactly what you think of its decision and asking them to put grouse back on their shelves.
Please visit the following link to access the pre-prepared letter to M&S: