BASC’s Key Achievements of 2016
The examples below give a snapshot of what we have achieved 2016. A membership of over 148,000 know the value of BASC.
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- Presented evidence-based arguments to IUCN members, helping to secure the rejection of plans to call for a worldwide ban on lead ammunition, including a targeted ban on the use of lead ammunition for Olympic shooting.
- Presented the case to government for the removal of expanding ammunition from prohibited status, which is completing its passage through parliament – this will benefit the police, members and non-members alike.
- Been a key voice in support of shooting, in talks with the government and the police, with regard to several important areas, including medical involvement in licensing and modernising the firearms licensing process.
- Helped persuade the largest firearms licensing departments in the UK to improve their service, including reducing delays in the licensing process, to members and non-members alike.
- Got the Home Office to approve a new set of criteria for Home Office approved target shooting clubs, making it far easier to understand.
- The firearms team answered the largest number of requests for help and advice since records began, handling just under 10,000 requests for help from members in 2016.
- The Director of BASC Scotland was appointed as Chair of the Firearms Practitioners Group in Scotland.
- The wildfowling team has helped 13 wildfowling clubs in England and Wales secure shooting over 11,000 acres of foreshore and an inland marsh in the past year, including 10 year consents.
- Challenged the Police Service of Northern Ireland in relation to their proposals to move away from paper applications and introduce an online-only firearms licensing system.
- Organised and facilitated a meeting of Northern Ireland firearms dealers, senior Police Service of Northern Ireland staff and elected representatives, to discuss firearms licensing issues affecting dealer’s livelihoods.
- Developed and successfully lobbied for the introduction of the banded system in Northern Ireland that permits a firearm certificate holder to exchange one firearm for another within specific bands in an over the counter same day transaction.
Firearms enquiries in 2016
Members offers, services and savings
- Advised many thousands of airgunners on the new licensing requirements in Scotland.
- We now insure £5 million worth of guns and over 1,000 members have taken up BASC gundog insurance this year.
- Members have saved over £3.5 million using BASC’s vehicle discount scheme in 2016 and we have expanded the scheme to encompass models from 22 car manufacturers.
- We have sold over 16,000 packets of Taste of Game crisps this year, helping introduce people to the flavours of game and normalise shooting.
- The membership team have handled just under 47,000 calls in 2016 over 800 more than in 2015.
- Organisers of the Game Fair 2017 are offering BASC members complimentary entry to the event in 2017.
- A record number of clubs are in the BASC wildfowling permit scheme, including two new clubs this year.
- The BASC wildfowling permit booklet was downloaded from the website over 4,500 times in 2016.
- The Hockwold stalking scheme was launched the scheme is open to all BASC members and is designed to provide practical experience for stalkers of all levels of experience and ability.
Politics and lobbying
- Successfully lobbied the Welsh Government and informed them of the benefit of working with wildfowlers, resulting in Greenland white-fronted geese being kept on the quarry list.
- Successfully helped to promote and defend grouse shooting in the run-up to the Parliamentary evidence session and debate on the petition to ban driven grouse shooting, including briefing MPs and submitting written evidence which a number of MPs drew from during the debate.
- Replied to over 40 statutory consultations on a wide range of issues from snares to highlighting the importance of using recreational stalkers to manage deer populations.
- Contributed to the lobbying and research that saw the ban on tail docking of working gundogs in Scotland overturned.
- Gave evidence to the Public Petitions Committee against the introduction of shoot licensing in Scotland.
- Launched campaign websites for the forthcoming Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Assembly and Scottish Parliament elections, the site allows BASC members to find out candidates’ views on shooting.
- Wrote to the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Committee and influenced their decision to approve the draft Snares Order 2016.
- BASC’s game and deer team assisted in the production of both the Welsh and English code of best practice on the use of snares.
Conservation and land management
- The amount of land used by shooters to record wildlife through BASC’s Green Shoots Mapping website is double that designated as National Nature Reserves (NNR) in the UK.
- Completed disturbance research demonstrating that disturbance caused by wildfowling is over 100 times less disturbing than that caused by walkers. This research is now being used to get longer, less restrictive consents for wildfowling clubs.
- Members of BASC’s wildfowling team have visited a record 60 affiliated clubs across the country in the last 12 months, helping inform clubs and give advice on land purchase.
- Launched a search for Britain’s best Young Shots conservation project.
- Continued water vole surveys on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales, with the help of volunteers.
- Addressed a meeting of the Welsh Assembly Government’s climate change, environment and rural affairs committee providing facts of fox snaring.
- Assisted the Welsh Government in developing a grey squirrel management plan.
- Joined the UK Squirrel Accord; BASC’s Director of Conservation is on the executive committee.
- Set up co-ordinated groups to control grey squirrels, helping to conserve trees and red squirrels.
- In 2016, the number of members using BASC’s Green Shoots Mapping software increased by 27%.
Record number of affiliated clubs visited by the Wildfowling team in the last 12 months.
Courses, shows and events
- 911 people were trained by BASC in 2016, up 85% from 2015 and up 211% from 2014.
- More than 4,000 people have tried shooting sports for the first time over the year using BASC’s shooting simulator.
- BASC Sporting Services have taken the shooting simulator to more than 30 events in 2016 including game fairs, county shows, courses, schools, political party conferences and a series of national sports roadshows.
- Enabled nearly 6,000 Scouts and Guides to try shotgun shooting at the Essex International Jamboree. The Scouts have now officially recognised BASC’s coaching qualifications and the Guides have officially recognised shooting sports as a legitimate and approved activity for Guide units. BASC Council has released £13,000 from our legacy fund to help provide further shooting opportunities for Scouts and Guides.
- Trained 26 Police Service Northern Ireland staff involved in the firearms licensing process, to appreciate firearms licensing from the perspective of a sporting shooter.
- Ran a series of game cookery demonstrations throughout the year, including at Countryfile Live.
Scouts and Guides tried shotgun shooting at the Essex International Jamboree
- In BASC’s continuing fight against poaching the total number of BASC booklets on poaching given to police forces and members has reached nearly 14,000.
- BASC’s Shooting and Conservation magazine reached record circulation levels of 132,825 in 2016.
- Gave a presentation to ‘Shooting for Heroes’, a part of the Help for Heroes charity, helping injured soldiers undertake modules in gamekeeping as part of the rehabilitation programme.
- Produced a series of recipe videos for use on social media.
- BASC has been active member of the Defra Technical Led Working Group in the process of finding a trap which will be compliant with the new rules under the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) and have also committed £5000 towards the testing of new traps.