DAN Reynolds of the British Association for Shooting presents a weak argument in justifying the Glorious 12th Grouse shoot (The Issue, Oxford Mail, August 24).

Unlike other gamebirds, the red grouse is not reared in captivity and then released for shooting – the wild population is all there is.

He also fails to mention the other victim of the grouse shoot, the hen harrier – one of our rarest raptors currently on the RSPB’s red list of most threatened species in Britain.

This amazing bird still faces regular illegal persecution by landowners and gamekeepers because it shares its home with the grouse on their moorland habitat. Perhaps the ‘Gruesome 12th’ might be more accurate.

I prefer to see the beautiful red grouse living freely in our countryside or on the side of whisky bottles. It’s long overdue that this horrific senseless slaughter joins fox hunting in being permanently confined to the history books.

ANDREW COLES, Farmington Drive, Witney