Shooting and conservation have been praised at a packed rural reception hosted by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Angling Trust at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Richard Benyon MP, Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, said: "The entire DEFRA team are totally on side with those organisations that take time to look after the countryside and promote rural issues. Those who work in angling and shooting are well respected in DEFRA for the tireless work they do."
Jim Paice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, thanked BASC for its work on behalf of shooting and praised its conservation work.
He said: "Can I take this opportunity to thank BASC and other organisations for everything that they do on behalf of shooting, informing me and my DEFRA colleagues on shooting issues and the work they do throughout the countryside. It is very important that we constantly promote shooting and the tremendous positive effect shooting has on the rural economy. BASC is responsible for a vast number of conservation issues which sometimes go unnoticed, they help to preserve areas of rural land through conservation projects, game bird management and wildlife habitat management – the conservation element of BASC is hugely important."
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, who introduced the speakers, said shooting and angling were an important part of what he termed ‘the glue that holds the countryside together’.
He said: "It’s pleasing to see the turnout here today. It goes to show how we as the Conservative party value rural issues and see the benefits of these two wonderful organisations here today and the work they do to promote both shooting and fishing.”
BASC and the Angling Trust also held events at the Labour and Liberal Democrat party conferences.