THE government has praised BASC’s Green Shoots programme while highlighting the benefits of grouse shooting to the environment and the economy.
In its official response to a petition calling for government to support grouse shooting, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) welcomed BASC’s work.
The response said: “The government welcomes the proactive approach taken by game-keeping organisations to ensure a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship between shooting and conservation, for example through the British Association for Shooting and Conservation’s green shoots initiative.
“The government recognises the benefits that grouse shooting, and shooting more widely, bring to individuals, the environment and the rural economy. It is for these reasons that the government believes shooting and other country pursuits such as hunting and fishing should be protected.”
Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity, said: “BASC and our members have worked with a huge range of conservation partners over the years and we have excellent relationships with the UK’s statutory conservation agencies.
“A great deal of effort goes towards achieving biodiversity targets that the UK is committed to through the convention on biological diversity. Much of the cost of this work is met by the shooting community itself. It is pleasing to see this work again recognised by government.”
BASC chairman Peter Glenser said: “We are delighted that government chose to use our Green Shoots programme as an example of how shooting provides a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with conservation.
“It is right that the public are made aware of the great benefits provided by shooting and its focus on the conservation of the countryside and the wildlife that lives in it.”