The government has today announced a series of animal welfare policy measures within its ‘Action Plan for Animal Welfare’, some of which will impact BASC members.

Responding to the plan, Caroline Bedell, BASC executive director of conservation, said

“BASC is calling on the Government to focus on policies that will provide tangible animal welfare improvements over simply pleasing the majority.

“To oversee welfare improvements the Government must ensure that policies are clear, coherent, and properly supported by evidence. A failure to do this will leave the door open to welfare breaches, judicial reviews and disruption.

“BASC members own animals, respect their quarry and care deeply about welfare. BASC will seek to ensure that decisions taken by Government that impact on sustainable shooting and conservation are evidence based and are not damaged by unintended consequences and lack of knowledge.

“Legislation will not be swift and the timing will be dependent on policy reviews and consultations. As a major stakeholder BASC will play a key part.

“We will also be assessing proposals – such as the proposed Bill on animal sentience – to ensure that it does not seek to pave the way for attacks on sustainable shooting and conservation.

“Further areas for discussion with government involve game farming, brown hares and trophies. The shooting community should note that the export of trophies from the UK, of such importance to deer management, is not covered by the plan and appears to be off the agenda at present. That is down to representations from those who manage the deer and their organisations, such as BASC.”

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