BASC NI director Tommy Mayne, wrote to the leaders of Northern Ireland’s five main political parties to ask them if they supported lawful shooting sports.
Mike Nesbitt, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, was the first to reply.
In his reply he thanked Tommy Mayne for his letter in which he asked whether the Ulster Unionist Party supports lawful shooting sports.
Mr Nesbitt’s letter reads: “The answer is an unequivocal yes. Country sports make a major contribution to the Northern Ireland economy each and every year. It provides much needed employment and sources of revenue generation in many of our rural areas.
“Of course the economic contribution is not the only benefit – I believe shooting has a hugely positive impact on our environment as many thousands of hectares are carefully managed for conservation by those involved in the sport.
“The Ulster Unionist Party strongly believes in the principle of securing strong animal welfare practices, however whilst many cannot appear to accept this, to us country sports have a key role in supporting our often fragile local ecosystem through managing animal populations.
“I am pleased to be able to give you a firm commitment that the Ulster Unionist Party will continue to respect and support the rights of those who engage in country sports.”
Tommy Mayne said: “I am delighted to have received this backing for lawful shooting sports from the Ulster Unionist Party and look forward to further positive responses from the leaders of Northern Ireland’s other political parties.”
Pictured is Tommy Mayne and Mike Nesbitt.
For more information, contact the BASC press office on 01244 573052.