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Chris Packham to lead thousands in protest against bloodsports

The protest is timed to coincide with “The Glorious 12th” – the 121-day grouse shooting season, which starts on August 12 each year.

Springwatch presenter Chris Packham is set to lead a protest against the killing of animals for sport to coincide with the start of the grouse shooting season.

Organisers expect thousands of people to march through central London to Downing Street on Saturday, calling for an end to badger culling, fox hunting and driven grouse shooting.

Naturalist and broadcaster Packham will speak alongside actor and animal rights campaigner Peter Egan, and senior figures from the Born Free Foundation, the Badger Trust and the League Against Cruel Sports.

Speaking ahead of the demonstration, Packham said: “A rapidly growing number of people have had enough cruelty and criminality in the UK countryside.

“We’ve had it with snares, lead shot, illegal persecution. We’ve had it with a lack of scientifically informed decisions and animals being ripped to pieces with dogs. We’ve had it with our dwindling wildlife being wasted by psychopaths who kill for pleasure.

“Killing wildlife for fun is a dying business – please come along and help drive another nail in its vile coffin.”

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The grouse season begins on the 12th. (Danny Lawson/PA)

The protest is timed to coincide with “The Glorious 12th” – the 121-day grouse shooting season, which starts on August 12 each year.

It will be delayed in some parts of Scotland due to poor weather, with some estates cancelling shoots.

The Glorious 12th has also focused attention on the millions of pounds in subsidies received by grouse moor estates as well as the decline of hen harriers, which conversationalists have blamed on illegal persecution by gamekeepers.

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