HUNT saboteurs have vowed to disrupt the controversial grouse shoots planned on Ilkley Moor.

Anti-bloodsports activists say they will make the recent decision to bring shooting back to the moor unworkable' by stopping shoots taking place.

A group identifying itself as West Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs contacted the Gazette this week, condemning the grouse shooting industry as cruel and unnecessary.

Spokesman for the group, Luke Steele, said: "The grouse shooting industry is cruel, unnecessary and only carried out for entertainment of those involved.

"Birds are scared out of the undergrowth then shot out of the sky, many of which are still alive when they hit the floor."

"Edward Bromet has already said that there is no money to be made by conducting this cruel activity on Ilkley Moor; and who would want to go to a shoot that will be stopped by anti-bloodsports activists?"

Owner of the moor, Bradford Council, has already met with criticism from two animal welfare organisations for handing out a contract to hold shoots on the iconic moor.

The Bingley Moor Partner-ship was recently named as the winner of ten years of shooting rights.

Key figure in the partnership and chairman of the national Moorland Association, Edward Bromet, told the Gazette recently how the shoots were unlikely to make a profit for the trust.

Shooting was abandoned by the council 11 years ago, when it declined to renew a lease for shooting.

A lease was given out in recent years, but no shooting took place because of a depleted, diseased grouse population.

Mr Steele also attacked Mr Bromet's confirmation that a gamekeeper would work to control predators on the moor, such as foxes and crows.

Mr Steele claimed that this was traditionally carried out using traps and snares, which could pose a risk to pet dogs and other animals.

Mr Bromet told the Gazette last week that specially trained gamekeepers would slaughter predators by legal means.

Grouse shooting is not expected to commence on the moor for two years or more, while work takes place to restore the heather moorland grouse habitat and boost numbers of the birds.

Bradford Council declined to comment on the shoot saboteurs.