BASC is urging those who shoot in Wales to have their say in a public consultation about the use of firearms on land owned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
While BASC welcomes positive conclusions about shooting drawn from an earlier call to evidence, the UK’s largest shooting organisation says those who shoot in Wales should not be complacent. The consultation runs until April 25.
BASC provided a detailed response to NRW’s initial request for evidence last year, with more than 50 references to reports and peer-reviewed scientific papers provided for consideration.
BASC’s submission demonstrated how the use of firearms by professional employees and members of the public contributes towards NRW’s purpose of ensuring that the country’s environment and natural resources are sustainably managed, enhanced and used.
Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity projects, said: “BASC’s evidence was comprehensive and highlighted that shooting benefits the environment, people and the economy.
“We are pleased that NRW has drawn similar conclusions to our recommendations after consideration of all the evidence they collected and considered. The amount of effort and time that has been expended in generating these proposals is exceptional. People should respect the rigour that has gone into their development.
“Nevertheless, we call on those who shoot in Wales to submit responses to the public consultation which runs until April 25, 2018. It is important that the wider shooting community ensures its voice is heard in this process. The job is not yet done.”
Duncan Greaves, a member of BASC council and chairman of BASC’s Wales committee, said: “Natural Resources Wales has rightly decided to continue to use shooting both in its own management of land and species but also as a means of predator control, recreation and conservation management by third parties.
“While there were voices which sought the cessation of shooting, we welcome NRW’s evidence-based approach and look forward to working with our members and NRW to create a better Wales for all. The next step in that process is trying to ensure that those who shoot in Wales play their part in its future by submitting their response to the public consultation.”
The proposals outlined in the public consultation launched last week are that NRW should:
• Continue to use firearms to manage damage caused by wild animals on the land it manages where this is essential for the sustainable management of natural resources.
• Consider all applications for permission to enter onto its land to control wild animals affecting “our neighbours” land.
• Consider leasing land for pheasant rearing and shooting and wildfowling where it doesn’t negatively impact on our “sustainable management” of the areas.