Campaigners from the Calder Valley are leading the drive for a government ban on grouse shooting.

A petition organised by environmental campaigner Dr Mark Avery has had more support from Calder Valley than anywhere else in the country.

More than 69,000 campaigners across the country have already signed to urge the government to take action to protect grouse.

The petition claims: “Grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management which increases flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions, relies on killing foxes, stoats, mountain hares etc in large numbers and often leads to the deliberate illegal killing of protected birds of prey including hen harriers.”

Calder Valley was among the areas which suffered devastating floods last winter.

Dr Avery said: “This bloodsport is ecologically, economically and socially unacceptable. Please urge your friends and family to add their signatures to yours on my online e-petition.

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“With 69,000 signatures already, we only need to get it to 100,000 for this repugnant bird-shooting ‘sport’ to be considered for a proper debate in Parliament.”

Bill Oddie, wildlife expert and president of The League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The Twelfth of August. Someone called it the glorious 12th. Why? The beginning of autumn? Glorious weather? Glorious colours? Glorious birds gathering to travel south? Glorious wild flowers on the downs? Glorious wildlife.

“Or is it glorious shooting? Glorious cruelty? Glorious killing? Glorious death?

“How can this pointless slaughter be considered in any way glorious? It is inexcusable.”

The petition’s online site is: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003