A COMPLAINT has been made against Yorkshire Water by an anti-bloodsport campaigner over a request to release data on the number of red grouse shot on its land.

Luke Steele, from Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire's Moors, has lodged the complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and said Yorkshire Water should release the data following an environmental request.

But Yorkshire Water said it did not believe the information Mr Steele requested fell under the scope of the Environmental Information Regulations.

Mr Steele said: "Eleven moors across the county, including Higher Platts, near Greenhow Hill, and around Lofthouse, North Yorkshire, are leased out by the utility business for grouse shooting, with permits issued allowing shooting parties to meet on water catchments to kill game birds for entertainment.

“If Yorkshire Water is comfortable with leasing land for grouse shooting then it should be transparent about how many birds are being shot."

He added: "Gamekeepers operating on Yorkshire Water land have also burnt large sections of heather moorland to engineer prime breeding habitat for red grouse.

Nick Weston from League Against Cruel Sports said: "Yorkshire Water’s customers have a right to know exactly what the company they buy their water from is doing with the land it owns. It is high time Yorkshire Water ends grouse shooting on its moors. Not only for the sake of animals and environment, but for the peace of mind of its customers.”

A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said: “Mr Steele has made a complaint to the Information Commissioner because he does not agree with our conclusion that the information he requested does not fall into the scope of the Environmental Information Regulations.

"At this stage the ICO has not taken an judgement on whether his complaint has any justification so for him to suggest that the ICO is investigating some form of wrongdoing is ridiculous.”

An ICO spokesperson said: “We have received a complaint in relation to Yorkshire Water and will be assessing the information provided.”