BASC has issued the following statement in response to an announcement today that Wild Justice plans to launch a legal challenge around the release of gamebirds.

Caroline Bedell, BASC’s executive director of conservation, said: “This is another extremist attack on shooting by those associated with the League Against Cruel Sports that ignores the well-documented evidence of the benefits of shooting to conservation and the wider environment.

The Code of Good Shooting Practice, which sets out the framework for sustainable shooting, includes reference to Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust research which sets out figures for sustainable game bird releasing that do not damage the environment.

“Studies show that well-managed shooting is of benefit to the environment and conservation organisations and the government have acknowledged the benefit of shooting to the environment. For example, shoots maintain 25,000 hectares of cover crops which provide important sources of food and shelter for songbirds particularly during the winter and shoots actively manage 500,000 hectares of woodland and 100,000 hectares of copses for the benefit of the environment.

Shooting influences 14 million hectares of rural land management and almost two million hectares are actively managed for conservation. It is estimated that shooting provides for 3.9 million work days being spent on conservation each year, which is the equivalent of 16,000 full-time conservation jobs.

“Without driven shooting the rural environment, and our economy, would be significantly poorer.”

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