What has Labour promised?

Labour has made six pledges in its document that if elected it would: “To defend the Hunting Act, ban the use of wild animals in circuses, end the badger culls, improve protection for cats and dogs, tackle wildlife crime and reduce cruelty on shooting estates and lead the fight against global animal cruelty.”

On shooting the document goes on to pledge that, if elected “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.

BASC has protested the inaccuracy and bias in the allegation that “wildlife crime” and “cruelty” are features of “shooting estates” and pledged to hold any future government to account to ensure that any independent review is based on sound evidence and proper process.

Why has Labour made these commitments?

Labour has been actively lobbied by anti-shooting organisations and by those seeking to place additional burdens on shooting. Examples of such lobbying have included calls to ban driven grouse shooting and licensing grouse moors.  There have also been campaigns to curtail the release of pheasants and to ban snaring.  None of these campaigns has passed evidential muster, failing to meet the five principles of better regulation

BASC held regular meetings with Labour MPs and Shadow Ministers to argue against these calls and explain the justice of shooting’s case. As a result of our engagement the anti-organisations did not secure the manifesto commitments they wanted. Instead the pledge is for a limited and bounded “independent review”.

What has BASC done about it?

Over the course of the last Parliament BASC actively countered campaigns against shooting which are unjustified, based on a lack of evidence and ignore the massive benefits that shooting provides to the economy, conservation and communities across the country.  In particular, BASC provided evidence to politicians of all parties on the facts and benefits of grouse shooting and moorland management, the release of game birds and the importance of snaring to wildlife management.  BASC also informed politicians and policy makers of the value of shooting.  Together with other shooting organisations, BASC continues to work with enforcement agencies to counter wildlife crime.

Following release of the policy pledges BASC has written to the leader of the Labour Party to protest the unjustified allegations against shooting.

What is BASC’s view of Labour’s announcement?

BASC is pleased that Labour has not made manifesto commitments to restrict shooting while disappointed at the anti-shooting rhetoric used.

BASC is an all-party organisation and works with governments of all political colours for the benefit of shooting and conservation.

BASC believes that it is possible to work with a future Labour government to build on the strengths of shooting revealed by the Value of Shooting report but we are under no illusions that there may be difficult discussions ahead.

If an independent review is established by a future government BASC will work tirelessly to ensure it is fully aware of the evidence and of the significant benefits that shooting provides to the economy, to conservation and to well-being.

What can members and non-member shooters do?

Use BASC’s general election campaign website to help BASC establish where every Labour candidate stands on shooting. The website allows you to email all your general election candidates asking them their position on shooting and reporting the replies you receive back to BASC. We already know many Labour MPs who support shooting. Knowing where others stand is essential information for effectively working for shooting with the party after the election.

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