The Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Nick Herbert MP, has spoken of his support for shooting sports. The minister was speaking at the Rural Reception which is held at the three major conferences by BASC and The Angling Trust.
Mr Herbert said: “We understand the problems facing rural communities and activities. We value what countryside sports do and the economic values they bring to the UK economy as a whole. I hope that, as a party, we will ensure that responsible gun owners are not treated like criminals. There needs to be a much more balanced, sensible view regarding firearms to allow people to enjoy shooting without fear of prejudice.”
Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Jim Paice MP, said: “We need to be more aware of how much anglers do for the waterways and shooters do for the woodland, preserving habitat species, just as wildfowlers do in conserving the marshes and coastlines. The equivalent of 12,000 conservation jobs are created within the shooting community and paid for out of the shooting community. Without rural economy, wildlife will die and the rural economy will die too as a result.”
The future of target shooting was highlighted by Shadow Minister for the Olympics, Lord Glentoran. He said: “There is still an argument about where shooting events at the Olympics will take place. Bisley is out – we have tried to get the destination changed but have unfortunately failed. There doesn’t seem to be any legacy for sporting shooting or in fact clay shooting which is a great cause for concern.”