The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has warned that certain anti-hunting policies in the Green Party manifesto could spell disaster for the British countryside.
The Green Party’s manifesto, released in the run up to the general elections this year, states that the party would seek to implement a complete ban on “all hunting of all animals for sport or pleasure,” including grouse shooting and the use of snares.
BASC has criticised these policies, claiming that a ban will negatively impact Britain’s economy, rural communities and conservation efforts.
“The latest research shows that shooting is worth £2bn to the economy every year,” says Richard Ali, BASC chief executive. “People involved in shooting generate conservation work valued at a quarter of a billion pounds a year. It would require 16,000 full-time conservation jobs to replicate that work. The Green Party has not thought these policies through and has consistently refused to consider the evidence.”
“These sweeping policy pledges threaten to cause chaos in the countryside and will have far-reaching, unintended consequences. Far from helping conservation and other Green Party aims, they would result in the immediate end to conservation work carried out as part of shooting and inflict mortal blows to rural communities which depend on shooting to remain viable,” BASC chairman Alan Jarrett added. “The Green Party has consistently refused to meet and discuss issues with BASC throughout the five years of the last parliament.”
BASC offers its own Green Shoots programme – a scheme aiming to map and survey large areas of landscape for conservation purposes – as an example of the hunting community’s continued efforts at large-scale conservation.
Despite the Green Party’s apparent unwillingness to meet with BASC over these controversial policies, Ali and Jarrett say that their offers of discussion will remain open.