The adoption of the declaration is the first step towards EU politicians producing policies that are sympathetic to the needs of moorland keepers and recognises the conservation benefits of shooting.
This move follows a meeting on 20 February, in Strasbourg, of the EUs Sustainable Development group and the Sustainable Hunting, Biodiversity and Countryside Activities group.
The Scottish Rural Property and Business Association (SRPBA) and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) also attended the meeting, giving presentations to MEPs on moorland management.
The meeting was arranged by Struan Stevenson, MEP for Scotland, following his visit to the Lochindorb estate, in the Highlands, in March last year, where the benefits of grouse moor management and the challenges faced by moorland managers were explained to him.
He commented the recent meeting strengthened the message Scotlands moorlands do not look after themselves: They need much costly and time consuming care on which many hundreds of rural jobs rely. The EU must cherish these resources and do nothing to undermine their continued existence as sustainable shooting estates.
The rest of this article appears in 13 March issue of Shooting Times.
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