Election 2024: what do the party manifestoes say about shooting?


BASC’s Conor O’Gorman reviews political party manifestoes and urges everyone to contact their parliamentary candidates before 4 July.

In 1970, the Conservatives won a surprise majority over Labour in a general election that took place a few days after England’s unexpected loss to West Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Whether there are surprises on or off the pitch this time round is anyone’s guess. It is a curious public mood currently, amidst rising football fever and decreasing interest in a general election, whose outcome is assumed by many as a foregone conclusion.

Which brings me to the party manifestoes published thus far and what they say about shooting and conservation. Below I have provided some key points summarised from the party manifestos. Follow the links to download each manifesto for more detail.

A closer look


The Labour manifesto promises to ban trail hunting, the import of hunting trophies and the use of snares. A plan is outlined to allocate £20 million from firearms licensing fees to fund initiatives to stop young people being drawn into crime. On conservation, there is a commitment to promote biodiversity and protect landscapes and wildlife.


The Conservative manifesto states that no changes will be made to the Hunting Act, but the party remains committed to banning the import of hunting trophies. Fines from water companies will fund river restoration projects. A new National Park will be designated with more investment to improve existing National Parks and protected landscapes.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrat manifesto mentions banning the routine burning of heather on peatlands. They promise to ‘double nature’ by 2050, which involves increasing the area of protected sites, the most important wildlife habitats, woodlands and abundance of species. Some 60 million trees will be planted and more National Parks designated.

Reform UK

The Reform UK manifesto commits to protecting ‘country sports’, recognising that these increase investment in conservation of our environment and boost rural jobs, communities and local economies. The farming budget will be increased by £3 billion, keeping farmland in use, bringing more young people into farming, and boosting the rural economy and culture.


The Green Party manifesto outlines plans to ban ‘trophy hunting’, trail hunting, the ‘commercial shooting of game birds’, lead ammunition and the use of snares. Firearms will be prohibited except on ‘registered premises’. A ‘Rights of Nature Act’ would be passed so that Nature could not be exploited for financial gain.

Other party manifestos

Do also have a look at party manifestoes specific to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but those published so far do not cover any new ground as regards shooting and conservation.

game shooting

What will happen after the general election?

Whatever the make-up of the next government, I think we will see further attempts at some point to introduce legislation restricting the import of hunting trophies, nonsensical as that is.

There will be developments on firearms law, fees and licensing because there are many unresolved matters left in limbo due to the early general election being called.

This autumn we expect the Health and Safety Executive to report its recommendations to the government, following a three-year review into the outdoor recreational use of lead ammunition.

On the conservation front, we will likely see numerous consultations exploring proposals around nature recovery, some being inter-linked with farming and agri-environmental schemes.

Do you know your parliamentary candidates' views on shooting?

The extent to which party manifesto commitments will influence the next government’s policies on shooting and conservation remains to be seen, but perhaps the various promises (and threats) therein may help you decide who to vote for.

But what about your parliamentary candidates’ views on shooting? Would that influence your vote? You can identify your constituency by entering your postcode here.

Then click here to have a look at your candidates’ views on shooting via a drop-down menu on BASC’s general election campaign page. If any candidates are showing as ‘no answer’ to our questions, please use our campaign tool to contact them with a template email and pass on any replies you receive to politics@basc.org.uk.

A few minutes to make the difference

I know we are all busy, but maybe you could spare a few minutes putting candidates on the spot whilst cheering on England and Scotland in the Euros?

Every bit of information will help give BASC a head-start after 4 July as we start engaging with the newly elected 650 MPs. Thank you for your support and time.