The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has promised to defend shooting through the ongoing shake-up and reform of public bodies.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has announced that a total of 192 public bodies will be scrapped or brought under ministerial or local government control, with another 118 organisations to be merged and another 171 "substantially" reformed in the so-called "bonfire of the quangos”.
BASC spokesman Simon Clarke said “BASC works closely with some of the key public bodies affected by the reform, such as the Forestry Commission, Natural England and the Environment Agency. BASC members with shooting tenancies or consents with affected public bodies can be assured that during the reform process BASC will defend threats and develop opportunities for shooting.”
Many BASC members hold deer stalking and game shooting leases from the Forestry Commission. Some have shooting tenancies under the Environment Agency, which also plays a significant role in the creation and maintenance of wetlands. Shooting tenancies are also held with Natural England. All three bodies are to be retained but will be subject to “substantial reform”.
Simon Clarke said “If BASC members hold sporting leases or consents under any of the affected bodies, they should check their lease with that body and if there is a problem they should call BASC.”
The next milestone of this process will be the public spending review to be announced on the 20th October when more details should emerge of where possible threats and opportunities for shooting will develop.