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Rural bods fight back over decision to ban pheasant shooting

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, The Countryside Alliance and the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation accused NRW of ‘ignoring’ its evidence-gathering review and consultation process which came out in favour of shooting. 


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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Rural bods fight back on NRW decision to ban pheasant shooting

Three of the UK’s top rural organisations have hit out at Natural Resources Wales (NRW) following its U-turn to ban pheasant shooting on public land.

 

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), The Countryside Alliance (CA) and the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) accused NRW of ‘ignoring’ its evidence-gathering review and consultation process - which came out in favour of shooting - to instead impose the ban following ‘interjection’ by Welsh Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn.

 

Lawyers acting on behalf of the group have since issued a letter before action to NRW with plans to seek a Judicial Review which they will jointly fund.


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BASC’s executive director Christopher Graffius said: “It is a sign of the strength of feeling in this issue that the three rural organisations have united in their commitment to holding NRW and Hannah Blythyn to account on behalf of shooting and on behalf of those who are rightly appalled that a public body can apparently ignore evidence in such a manner.”

 

Tim Bonner, the CA’s chief executive, echoed Mr Graffius with claims the NRW had recognised there was no evidence to justify the decision to end pheasant shooting on its land.

 

‘Perverse and damaging’

He said: “Indeed the evidence points clearly to the benefits of shooting to Welsh communities, the rural economy and in meeting NRW’s statutory obligations.

 

“The decision by NRW appears perverse and damaging, and this situation cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.”

 

NRW said the organisation took its responsibilities towards the sustainable management of natural resources ‘very seriously’.

 

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have received the correspondence from the three organisations, but we are unable to comment on any ongoing legal proceedings.”

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