BASC write to Environment Minister in response to shooting rights petition

BASC is raising concerns with the Welsh Environment Minister over attempts by animal rights extremists to block the letting of public land for shooting.

Animal Aid – which recently campaigned against eating turkey at Christmas – is promoting an on-line petition calling on Natural Resources Wales not to expand the leasing of public land to shooting tenants.

In response, BASC’s Director for Wales Gary Ashton is writing to the Welsh Assembly Environment Minister Carl Sargeant to refute glaring inaccuracies in the petition and highlight the massive benefits of shooting to the country’s economy and tourism.

Gary Ashton said: “Shooting makes an enormous contribution to the Welsh rural economy. Overall it’s worth £75 million to Wales and supports the full-time equivalent of 2,400 jobs. This brings important income to rural areas throughout the year.

“The charges levelled by Animal Aid are false and based on prejudice and lack of understanding. Shooting lets offered by the Welsh Assembly bring a much-needed economic boost to local areas, provide recreation, improve the well-being of participants, support conservation, provide employment and promote good land-management.”

BASC emphasised the importance of shooting to Wales when ministers and Assembly members met hoteliers and shoot owners last month at a cross-party conference to discuss tourism in the Principality.

Jono Garton, BASC Council member for Wales, said: “Decisions about land use should be based on hard evidence, not emotive posturing. Shooting is massively important to the Welsh countryside and those who live and work in it.

“BASC has an excellent relationship with policy makers and will continue to work hard with Natural Resources Wales to promote the sport of shooting and to represent the interests of all those who make a living from shooting.”

For further information, please contact BASC's press office on 01244 357007 or email