A ROW has broken out after anti-bloodsport campaigners released footage showing pits of dead animals on Bingley Moor to try and shame grouse shooters ahead of the start of the Glorious Twelfth.

Animal Aid said its film, which appears to show carcases of foxes and other grouse predators, freshly-dug drainage ditches, tyre tracks and burning patches across the 4,500-acre estate, was shot to show the "destructive and cruel" damage being wreaked by landowners Bingley Moor Partnership.

But the chairman of the Partnership, described Animal Aid’s claims as “complete nonsense”, saying its management work delivered big advantages including allowing rare vegetation, such as heather, and birds like curlews and lapwings to thrive.

Animal Aid spokesman Luke Steele said he hoped people who saw the film would add their names to a petition, already signed by more than 65,000 people and supported by the League Against Cruel Sports, calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting. Celebrities Chris Packham and Bill Oddie have already put their weight behind it.

Days of action are also being planned in the run up to the start of the shooting season on August 12 - known as the Glorious Twelfth - and will be handing out leaflets about its work.

Animal Aid’s shooting campaign manager, Fiona Pereira, said: "The heather-rich moors that are extolled as being wild and natural are nothing of the sort – they are amongst the most manipulated landscapes, the sole purpose of which is to encourage grouse to breed, just so they can be blasted from the sky come August 12."

Mr Steele claimed more damage than ever before was being done to Bingley Moor and its wildlife.

He accused Bingley Moor Partnership of trying to create a "mono-animal landscape", wiping out other creatures which were only trying to fend for themselves and thrive.

He said wildlife considered to be a threat to grouse chicks or eggs was being "taken out" by the gamekeepers and their corpses piled up.

"These stink pits are horrific," he added.

Last year, a review by Bradford Council ruled grouse shooting could continue at nearby Ilkley Moor for another three years, but barred those running shoots on it - including Bingley Moor Partnership which helps manage it - from using traps to kill grouse predators.

Edward Bromet, chairman of the Bingley Moor Partnership, said: "It’s established science that some predator and pest control can help others thrive.

"What Animal Aid wants is some decimated place with few birds which is overgrazed and overrun by bracken - which is what Bingley Moor would be like if it wasn’t for the management work we do 365 days a year and for which we won a gold conservation award last year."