On the 17th of June the Scottish Parliament backed Green MSP Alison Johnstone’s amendment to the Animals and Wildlife Bill to make mountain hares a protected species and therefore end their widespread killing on grouse moors. The Scottish Government has yet to deliver this protection. The open season, where hares can be killed without a license, begins again on the 1st of August.   Please take action and ask your MSP to call upon the Scottish Government brings this protection into force as a matter of urgency.  

You can find your MSP’s contact details here, and a template email is below.

Dear MSP,

On the 17th June, the Scottish Parliament voted for an amendment to The Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Bill that makes mountain hares a protected species. I welcome and am grateful for this progress.  I wish to thank the Parliament for backing this fundamental but important wildlife protection measure. However, I am concerned that this protection has yet to be delivered.

The open season for hares started again on the 1st of August. During the open season hares can be killed without licence.  You will be aware that in parts of their range, where the dominant land use is intensive grouse moor management, mountain hare populations are now at less than one percent of the levels found in 1954.  Mountain hares have been categorised as having unfavourable conservation status.  There is not a moment to waste.

As my MSP I hope you will raise these concerns with the Scottish Government and act to ensure this decision is implemented and mountain hares are protected now.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely