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Photographer Andy Howard discusses the new ban on the mass culling of Mountain Hares

On Wednesday 17th June, in a landmark decision, the Scottish Parliament voted to end the mass culling of one of our most endearing and iconic animals, the mountain hare. This decision has ramifications beyond simply ending the slaughter as increased numbers will encourage more raptors which, of course, are also protected species. This has implications for the grouse shooting industry and, through that, implications for Highland land use and ownership. Sandstone Press is very proud to be the publisher of Andy Howard’s ‘Secret Lives’ series, specifically The Secret Life of the Mountain Hare. This exceptionally beautiful book, together with Andy’s other activism is a significant part of the much wider and larger movement that has brought about this historic decision. -Robert Davidson, Managing Director

Thanks to photographer and author Andy Howard for speaking to us about the new legislation protecting these beautiful animals.

What a huge relief it is to see the creation of legislative protection for mountain hares, finally ending the mass culls that have shocked people in all parts of the world and stained our reputation as a ‘nation of animal lovers’. So often, similar bills presented to Westminster have failed.

Mountain hares are indigenous to Scotland, having been here since the last ice age. They have a unique place in the Highland ecosystem and it is morally correct to provide this legal protection. My intention in writing The Secret Life of the Mountain Hare was not only to promote the species to a wider audience, but also to draw attention to their plight. I hope and believe the book has been a positive contributor to the wider effort.

The tireless work of NGO’s like One Kind, certain highly positive sectors of the media, the Scottish Green Party, who tabled this motion, and the many photographers who share their images on social media, have together proved persuasive and our mountain hares now have the protection they truly deserve. The ramifications of this decision will continue for a long time. There may well be resistance. However, this legislation is excellent news for conservation. Let us celebrate.

-Andy Howard, 18/06/2020

Andy Howard

Andy Howard