RA David Heath LD2013 for webThe economic and environmental benefits of shooting and angling have been recognised by DEFRA minister David Heath at a rural reception hosted by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Angling Trust at the Liberal Democrats’ conference in Glasgow.

David Heath, Minister of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at DEFRA, said: “I recently visited a local shoot in my constituency that illustrated the economic value of shooting. I was pleased to see not just the employment opportunities created by the shoot itself but also the investment it encouraged in the local area. This putting back into the local economy is wholly good for the rural community and environment.”

BASC chief executive Richard Ali said: “We exist to promote shooting and conservation and the social and economic contribution it makes to the UK. Lib Dem constituencies represent a huge land mass and a lot of rural expertise and we are grateful to MPs for their continued engagement. Looking towards the future, BASC believes in policy based on evidence, processes voted for by government being followed and more support for landscape-scale conservation. We need to join up all the dots and join the rivers with the land.”

Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, highlighted the contribution BASC and the Angling Trust make to conservation he said: “BASC and the Angling Trust bring together issues of good countryside management and how it can be profitable, which is important in times of austerity when public money is short and we have to rely more on private investment which is encouraged by both organisations.”

Mr. Williams also discussed the issue of an increase in fees for firearms certificates he said: “There has recently been a government review on the licensing of firearms. Whatever the cost of licensing it should be in exchange for a good service. At present there are numerous problems such as delays and a lack of uniformity in its application which need to be sorted out.”

BASC and the Angling Trust will also be holding events at the Conservative and Labour party conferences.

Picture shows BASC chief executive Richard Ali (left) and David Heath MP

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