Leading shooting and rural organisations have published a joint letter in response to the RSPB’s consultation on its draft principles for gamebird shooting and associated land management.
The organisations highlighted their concerns that the consultation is weighted heavily in favour of drawing responses that could support the RSPB calling for the licensing of shooting throughout the UK.
A spokesman for the organisations said: “The conservation, financial and social value that arise from sustainable gamebird management are well documented and should be given due regard by the RSPB. We urge the RSPB to duly recognise the positives that shooting provides to conservation and the economy.
“In particular, we have highlighted the principles on gamebird management developed by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. We wholeheartedly support these principles which we believe provide an excellent and progressive platform for the future alongside the existing Code of Good Shooting Practice.
“Our letter raises our concerns that, in an attempt to move towards the licensing of all shooting activities, the RSPB’s draft principles ignore the numerous international environmental treaties and legislation on sustainable use.
“Shooting in the UK is worth £2 billion to the UK economy each year and delivers nearly two million hectares of land managed for conservation as a result of its activities. We recognise the importance of game shooting delivering net gain to the environment and there is a great effort being across the sector to achieve all social, environmental and economic objectives.”