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PS150m grouse industry is driven by bloodlust.

GROUSE shooting is a profitable business with large estates across Britain - particularly in Scotland, Yorkshire, the Peak District, Wales and the South West - offering packages.

It is called 'driven' shooting because the birds are driven towards an eight-to-10 strong shooting party by up to 50 "beaters".

The industry claims at least 40,000 people take part in grouse shooting annually and that it supports the equivalent of 2,500 jobs, generates PS150million for the economy and invests PS100million a year into conservation. Grouse shooting started in Victorian days with the advent of the railways.

Increasingly, the shooting parties come from abroad with rich foreigners joining city businessmen.

A day's "sport" can cost as much as PS14,000, depending on the number of kills.

Estates advertise online to organise shoots, book your accommodation and lunch. At Roxburghe, home of the Duke of Roxburghe, in the Scottish Borders, the website boasts they are the "most productive and consistent for grouse shooting in Scotland".

It states that last season, between August 12 and December 10, they shot more than 2,976 "brace", or pairs of grouse.

Grouse fly at up to 70mph and have a habit of suddenly changing direction. A 2015 survey said 76% of shooters were unable to gauge distance, meaning 40% of birds were wounded rather than killed outright.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 12, 2016
Words:219
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