BASC chairman Peter Glenser has called for “plain and open” dialogue between all sides of the raptor debate.
Following an article in today’s Times newspaper in which BASC’s acting chief executive Christopher Graffius highlighted the damage to shooting from the illegal killing of birds, Mr Glenser has spoken of the need for “honesty” if sustained change is to take place.
He said: “BASC’s position today should be seen as a watershed moment for the association and for the wider shooting community, and one from which there can be no retreat.
“We make the point that raptor persecution risks terminal damage to the sport we all love and BASC is clear that we must all take personal responsibility for ensuring the criminal minority do not ruin it for the lawful, ethical majority.
“This is a stand that BASC is taking not only for today, but also for future generations. I want my grandchildren to be able to enjoy shooting as I have through my life, but if we don’t act decisively then the shooting available to us in the future will be unrecognisable from what we have now. I don’t believe we will like that which will be imposed upon us.
“We must not lose sight of the immense good done by the shooting community, but the criminal minority damage us all and the shooting community needs to speak as one on this issue.
“For worthwhile, sustainable change to take place, there needs to be clear dialogue among all those who have a passion for shooting and those rural organisations with shooting at their heart.
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“We must also talk plainly and openly with those who may not immediately be considered friends of shooting. There is a need for honesty from all sides, only then will constructive progess be made.”