The future of shooting and angling would be assured under a future Labour government according to Diana Johnson MP, Labour’s shadow crime and security minister with responsibility for firearms licensing issues.
Ms Johnson, speaking at a rural reception hosted by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Angling Trust at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, said: “Shooting and angling would be assured under a future Labour government.”
Speaking about lawful gun owners she said: “I recognise that the vast majority of those with licences are very responsible and I welcome and appreciate the dialogue we have and the fact we can talk about issues.”
Huw Irranca-Davies MP, shadow food and farming minister, praised the lobbying work of BASC and the Angling Trust, saying: “We have worked together in the past and been enormously productive on many issues such as water quality and moorland conservation. It is everyone’s countryside and we need to make sure it works for everyone; all groups. We will always work with organisations to achieve this because we have a shared purpose.”
Mr Irranca-Davies also stressed the importance of complying with the law on lead shot, saying: “There is still the problem of irresponsible use of lead still going on but I am pleased that BASC are pushing strongly with their members to drive out irresponsible use of lead especially over wetlands.”
BASC chairman Martyn Howat said: “BASC and other organisations are currently working very hard on a lead compliance campaign and we are determined to ensure it is a success.”
“BASC are nonpartisan, we work with all governments to promote shooting and conservation as well as to ensure the need for any policy to be evidence-based and for regulation to be a last step rather than the first. We strive for the highest possible standards.”
Barry Gardiner MP, Labour’s shadow minister for the environment, emphasised the conservation work of shooting and said that Labour wants to see the countryside “properly resourced” and is working on policy to produce a “coherent approach to rural communities.”
Martin Salter, national campaign coordinator for the Angling Trust and a former Labour MP, outlined the close working relationship between the Angling Trust and BASC. He said that angling is a very popular recreational sport and its participants are passionate environmentalists whose sport depends on the continuation of clean waterways.
Picture shows Diana Johnson MP.