Elections – why are they important to Shooting?
Unlike hunting with dogs, it is unlikely that shooting will ever face an outright ban. The threat to shooting sports is more insidious – more like “death by a thousand cuts”; endless minor changes which combined will make it impossible to run a viable shoot and increasingly difficult to bring new generations into shooting sports.
For instance, this was one of the Labour Party's pledges ahead of the 2015 General Election:
"Tackle wildlife crime and reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates.
Birds of prey are intensively persecuted and iconic birds such as the Hen Harrier are in danger of being lost as a breeding species in England. More needs to be done to protect these birds of prey on shooting estates.
The practice of snaring also needs to be reviewed. Snares can cause extreme suffering to animals and often a painful and lingering death. Because snares are used mainly, though not exclusively, on shooting estates to protect game birds, it is right that Labour works with stakeholders to address this cruel practice.
The Labour Party is clear that more should be done to reduce the suffering of animals on shooting estates. The next Labour Government will undertake an independent review on how to:
- End the illegal persecution of birds of prey such as the Hen Harrier.
- Prevent non-target animals getting trapped in snares.
- Ensure the humane treatment of game birds."
Note the blatant implication that criminality and cruelty form an inherent part of "shooting estates".
It is crucial that the shooting community realises the importance of electing a Government that recognises the value of shooting sports to the countryside community. (£2 Billion to the economy, 350,000 people taking some paid employment in shooting, equivalent to 74,000 full time jobs -http://www.shootingfacts.co.uk).
MPs who will:
- Argue for the opening of more Forestry Commission Land for Deer Stalking
- Oppose the proposed licencing of Grouse Moors and the proposed ban on driven Grouse shooting.
- Move the “Joint Recovery Plan” forward.
- Support a review of how Natural England issues consents for Wildfowling
- Support the high standards to which most shoots operate - as evidenced by “The Code of Good Shooting Practice”.
- Oppose the introduction of back-door bans during proposed reviews of wildlife legislation.
- Oppose hurdles being put in the way of young people getting involved in shooting
- Not pander to minority pressure groups.
If you are concerned about shooing sports in this country, don’t leave it to chance, get actively involved and help secure their future now!
Don’t just complain – campaign
Photographs courtesy of Kay Thompson www.kaythompson.zenfolio.com/