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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