Minister comes under fire for shooting remarks
A Welsh Minister has come under fire after making remarks in the Senedd about shooting and hunting.
Minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS made the comments during a debate in the Senedd about shooting in the Welsh countryside.
When questioned on the role of shooting and conservation, the Minister said: “I do not think killing anything as a sport or leisure is anything that any civilised society should support I’m afraid and I’ve been clear about that.
“These things need to change in line with he way we work. We absolutely need to protect our way of life and we need to protect out communities but we also need to change our behaviour.”
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) said the comments would create “widespread discontent” across Wales’ rural communities.
The debate was led by Brecon and Radnorshire MS, James Evans during a 12-week consultation by Natural Resources Wales on proposals to introduce a licensing system for the release of pheasants and red-legged partridge in Wales.
If the proposals are implemented, game bird releasing will be restricted and only allowed under licence.
BASC is opposed to the proposed licensing and says there is “sufficient regulation” already in place.
Speaking in support of shooting in Wales at the debate, James Evans MS said: “Shooting is fundamental to rural communities in Wales.
“It provides opportunities for people from all walks of life to come together in the great outdoors and enjoy each other’s company.”
Speaking after the debate, BASC’s head of policy and campaigns, Dr Conor O’Gorman, said: “The Minister’s comments on the floor of the Senedd highlight the anti-shooting agenda currently driving policy decisions in Wales.
“It is not just a blatant disregard of scientific evidence but real-world contempt for the rural community and thousands of jobs.
“Shooting is worth £75 million to Wales’ economy annually, supporting the equivalent of 2,400 full-time jobs. The outright dismissal of shooting is damaging to the Welsh countryside and will create widespread discontent across rural Wales.
“Our thanks must go to the Members of the Senedd willing to stand up and support sustainable shooting, using facts and figures to back up their comments.”
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BASC shooting stuff is conservation……Pheasant releases are an eco-disaster on a grand scale.
Why? Do the pheasants cut down trees and build concrete building all over the place?
They damage vegetation and trees, they pollute through droppings and rotting carcasses and often cause endangered birds to be shot when a flurry of trigger happy people decide anything with wings is ‘fair game’.
Your comments show how totally ignorant you are of how shoots are run. Everything you say is completely wrong, nonsensical and I must add that I am NOT a shooter.In addition, the food put down aids native birds.
There are sound ecological reasons for a drastic reduction in the mass release of game bred purely to be shot. But the biggest single reason is what Atkinson calls “posh pricks” replacing generations of farming families and destroying rural communities.
It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t such appalling drivers and such irresponsible parkers. Bring back organic lambs.
If it’s done for sport or leisure, then it’s not conservation.
If it’s conservation and necessary, then there is no fear of it stopping based on comments made.
Killing for fun can be left in the past regardless of what it means for jobs. Find better jobs.
Imagine having the name conservation and shooting in the same name. That’s like calling yourself a pro life murderer. Imagine killing wild animals and then pretending its conservation while farmers use up huge amounts of land for sheep and cattle when it could be forest. This is just posh pr1cks with a killing fetish.
Conservation is defined as creative interplay between hums s and their environment. It is not preservation, which can be ineffective. Shooting involves habitat improvement, and by making things easier for game birds, by ensuring a
plentiful food supply, this benefits native birds, without exception.
Could they not just go for a nice walk, without needing to kill things?
I live in a rural community and can say with assurance that almost no-one here thinks shooting things is a good idea. The BASC does NOT speak for rural communities.
Its about time the shooting and hunting fraternity were called out. More sheep lost round here to the hunt than to any wild animal. And the roads are littered with dead pheasants around the shoots – and that’s the ones hit by cars. This is not sport and people who get their kicks from killing animals should be reported not supported.
People who get their kicks from killing ought to have a bat across their heads.
Gun law in Wales should be totally under our control here in Wales..
“…the Minister said: “I do not think killing anything as a sport or leisure is anything that any civilised society should support…”
I agree with the Minister.
Meanwhile the minister’s deputy performs a u-turn on the Llanbedr by-pass, I do believe the ambition of Lee Waters runs deep…
Has he already managed a U turn on a bit of road before it gets built ? That’s a man with some serious abilities. Pity he doesn’t channel them a bit better.
I’m inclined to agree with Julie James here. We’re not talking here about an individual shooting the odd bird for his pot – this is large scale game bird farming, thousands of non-native species bred for very wealthy people to enjoy an afternoon’s shooting. It’s an ecological disaster and of course it should be licensed and controlled if not banned altogether. As a society we’re a lot more tolerant of the barbarism of the upper classes … But I also think welsh labour need to get their act together and do some joined up thinking about rural communities- and be… Read more »
Well said Julie, so many get squashed on the roads, let alone being shot. Then if they survive, which some of them do, they run the risk of being shot again the next season. They have to vie with other birds for diminishing food during the rest of the year. It’s barbaric, when is a bird not a bird? When is a life not a life? Born to be shot. What’s wrong with clay pigeon shooting if these shooters want to meet up to enjoy themselves?