A plan to re-introduce grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor has been attacked as barbaric' by animal welfare campaigners.

Countryside bosses plan to hand over grouse shooting rights on Ilkley Moor to a private company, a decade after shooting on the moor was scrapped for being offensive.

Bradford Council has invited companies to tender for a ten year lease and could hand it over to the successful firm as early as next month. The closing date for the tenders is Wednesday.

The council says grouse shooting would help with moor land management because it is accompanied by practices such as heather burning and the control of bracken - a plant which has overrun parts of the landscape.

But an Ilkley animal welfare organisation has started a petition against shooting on the moor. Animal Aid campaigner Fiona Pereira said: "Aside from the obvious and blatant cruelty of using birds as feathered targets, the management' of moorland for grouse shooting interests means the legal and illegal destruction - through trapping, shooting and poisoning - of a host of indigenous species that interfere with shooting."

Chairman of West Yorkshire Animals in Need, Ilkley man Oliver Townsend, described grouse shooting as barbaric'.