The voice of shooting was heard loud and clear at the three main UK party conferences, where BASC promoted the sport through a series of receptions, putting the case for shooting to Ministers, spokespeople, parliamentarians, councillors and local party members.
At the Conservative conference delegates ranging from Cabinet ministers to local activists queued up to shoot on the ST shooting simulator. This was manned by BASC shotgun coaches on the floor of the exhibition for the conference. It was the first time at any autumn UK political conference that a simulator has been available for party members to try shooting.
Over the three days 422 people shot a variety of simulated targets including clay pigeons, grouse, pheasants and duck. Among those taking the opportunity to try their hand at shooting was the Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss MP, the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, John Whittingdale MP and the Minister for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment, George Eustice MP. Many of those who tried simulated shooting had never shot before.
In addition BASC held, in association with the Angling Trust, the Rural Reception at all three party conferences. At the most recent event more than 250 ministers, MPs, party members and representatives of rural and animal welfare organisations gathered to hear Defra minister Elizabeth Truss MP state the government’s support for shooting and Alan Jarrett, the Chairman of BASC, stress how shooting is inter-connected with and contributes to conservation, food production, the rural economy and land management.
BASC chairman Alan Jarrett said: “Taking the shooting simulator to the Conservative conference has been a real breakthrough. It was wonderful to see everyone who shot leaving the simulator with a big smile having thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This was excellent promotion of shooting to the governing party.”
Richard Ali, chief executive of BASC said: “In the wake of the election effective political representation for shooting has never been more important. The speakers at our events at all three major party conferences declared their parties support for shooting. We have yet to have a meeting with Labour’s new Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs but I know that BASC’s continuous engagement with Labour at conferences and during the political year has been central to maintaining its support for responsible shooting.”
BASC will be hosting a reception at the SNP conference in Aberdeen on Friday 16 October.