BASC seeks legal advice over Wales gamebird plans

BASC is considering legal action to challenge the potential licensing of gamebird releasing in Wales from 2025.

Natural Resources Wales has today announced that it has recommended to the Welsh government that the release of pheasants and red-legged partridge should be restricted.

This follows a 12-week public consultation on proposals, which concluded in June 2023.

BASC assisted in ensuring a huge response to that consultation with its ‘Act Now’ campaign and NRW said it received in excess of 42,000 replies.

However, it has been confirmed that only a small sample of those responses was fully considered during the process of producing today’s recommendations to the Minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS.

BASC is now seeking legal advice with a view to challenging any attempt by the Welsh government to limit gamebird releasing.

Steve Griffiths, BASC Director Wales, said: “In essence, the huge response to the public consultation has been merely dip-sampled in a bid to rush an opinion through to Julie James.

“That is not good enough on an issue that is critical to the future of the Welsh countryside.

“We know there was a huge response from BASC members to that consultation. And other rural organisations mobilised members in the sort of numbers never before seen in Wales.

“Our community clearly recognised the significance of these proposals and their potential to damage rural Wales but can’t trust that their legitimate views were listened to.

“We have previously asked that the responses to that consultation were made public. That has not been done.

“The process has not been transparent and the rural community can have no confidence that the Minister has access to the ‘on-the-ground’ evidence to make a decision that best serves rural Wales.

“BASC has been clear from the outset that we would fight for shooting and our resolve on this issue in Wales remains firm. We will explore every avenue to protect shooting and the people and communities who rely on it.”