Letter to the Editor: Nature and rural communities will be the losers if the Welsh Government succeeds in shutting down game shooting in Wales.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) is highlighting concerns about the environmental and socio-economic impact of a potential ban on the release of gamebirds in Wales and is calling on the shooting and wider rural community to rally against the proposals.
The restriction proposals could lead to a loss of up to £7.4 million spent annually on conservation projects by shoots across Wales, which would require the equivalent of up to 490 full-time Natural Resources Wales staff to fill the gap in managing vital habitats for rare and endangered plants and wildlife.
Furthermore, the Welsh economy could suffer a blow of up to £75 million annually and the loss of up to 2,400 jobs which will impact rural businesses including pubs and hotels.
Shoots carefully manage the release of pheasants and red-legged partridges to ensure a sustainable harvest of wild food in Wales and no evidence of negative impacts from gamebird releasing have been provided to justify a draconian licensing regime across Wales.
The proposals are ideologically driven with Welsh Government ministers on record stating that they do not support shooting.
This is a government that has denied Covid funding to shooting businesses and terminated licences for shooting on public land.
Whether you benefit directly or indirectly from shooting, or feel that the Welsh Government has overstepped the mark, visit www.basc.org.uk/actnow to find out more and have your say.
Steve Griffiths, BASC Wales director, Wrexham
Editor’s note: Personally, I couldn’t take any pleasure from killing birds or animals that can’t fight back.