Campaigners are targeting Bradford Council in an attempt to halt grouse shooting on the publicly-owned Ilkley Moor.

A coalition of anti-bloodsports campaigners, called Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor (BBIM) says it already has 500 signatures on a petition calling on the Council to end the shoots – and says it may take “lawful direct action” to obstruct shoots.

The group and its supporters have also posted comments on Bradford Council’s social media sites.

The Council granted a lease to Bingley Moor Partnership in 2008 to hold shoots, in a deal which sees the Partnership provide a gamekeeper and work with the Council on the management of the moor.

The move came following the fire of 2006 which badly damaged large areas of the moor. The Council has since secured a Higher Level Stewardship agreement with Natural England, which brought more funding to help manage the moor.

Spokesman for BBIM, Luke Steele, said: “The shooting of grouse for entertainment on Ilkley Moor is barbaric. These marvellous birds are shot out of the sky for pleasure.”

Bradford Council said it let the grouse shooting rights in 2008 on a ten-year agreement, and a review was undertaken by its Environment and Waste Management Overview and Scrutiny Committee last July.

A Council spokesman said: “This concluded that the agreement would continue to its end date in 2018, subject to a number of conditions which were included in the review report. This remains the Council’s position".

“The Committee also asked in July 2013 for a progress monitoring report about the conditions of Ilkley Moor Sporting Rights Deed to be presented to members in 12 months time.”