Kate on Conservation

Crush Cruelty march: Chris Packham campaigns against driven grouse shooting

Chris Packham delivers anti grouse shooting speech

This past weekend I attended the Crush Cruelty march from Cavendish Square to Downing Street with Chris Packham — centred around protecting and supporting British wildlife.

Chris Packham and Kate on Conservation at Crush Cruelty protest march

Almost a complementary demonstration to May’s ‘Keep the Ban’ protest against Theresa May’s suggested free vote on lifting the fox hunting ban (the biggest protest of the general election time), this weekend’s march expanded out further, to put badger culling, driven grouse shooting and the dwindling numbers of hen harrier into the spotlight as well.

Images from May’s Keep the Ban protest

Crush cruelty stirring speeches

Growing crowds (perhaps even bigger than the previous march) gathered at Cavendish Square to hear rallying speeches from the likes of writer and environmentalist Mark Avery, former Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett, IFAW‘s Philip Mansbridge, Born Free Foundation‘s Mark Jones, Nigel Tolley of Badger Trust and representatives from Hunt Saboteurs, before setting off through a busy central London spreading the word to the masses.

Natalie Bennett, Former Green Party Leader speaks at Cavendish Square
Mark Jones of Born Free Foundation addresses crowds ahead of the march

In-glorious 12th

The thousands that marched chose the date especially to coincide with the so-called ‘glorious 12th’; referring to the start of the red grouse shooting season taking place in areas of upland moorland over the next few months. A practice know as ‘driven grouse shooting’.

To allow for the perfect conditions for grouse to thrive (so they can ultimately be shot for this cruel and unnecessary practice, which is masqueraded as ‘sport’), predators such as foxes and birds of prey have their numbers ‘managed’ in preparation.

Re-Christening the day the ‘Inglorious 12th‘, further anti-grouse shooting protests took place on moors across the country, including a large protest walk at Ilkley Moor.

Post-march rallying

The march ended opposite Downing Street, with a powerful opening speech about the impact of driven grouse shooting and the plight of hen harriers (which have declined in huge numbers due to illegal shooting) from wildlife presenter and passionate campaigner Chris Packham.

Chris Peckham delivers anti grouse shooting speech

Actor and vegan campaigner Peter Egan was next to address the crowds, followed by Born Free Foundation CEO Will Travers, representatives from Hunt Investigation Team and League Against Cruel Sports, and Badger Trust CEO and author of Badgered to Death, Dominic Dyer – showing how many NGOs really did come together to form a Crush Cruelty coalition!

Will Travers addresses the crowds outside Downing Street
Born Free’s Will Travers addresses the crowds outside Downing Street
Dominic Dyer speaks to the huge crowds
Dominic Dyer speaks to the huge crowds

Crush Cruelty, for the animals…

The day also saw protests outside Tesco stores across the country (including my hometown in Norfolk), calling for Tesco to sever ties with Hogwood ‘Horror Farm’ — a pig farm in Warwickshire that supplies pork to the supermarket chain — known to house over 15,000 pigs in appalling conditions.
The most glorious thing about the 12th August was the mass movement of
people standing up for animals.

2 thoughts on “Crush Cruelty march: Chris Packham campaigns against driven grouse shooting

    1. Thank you – it’s wonderful to surround yourself with compassionate people in these kinds of gatherings. Terrible things bring us together, but wonderful that there are people willing to stand up, put differences aside, and fight for what is right 🙂

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