All four of the UK’s major political parties have expressed support for the shooting sports and their importance to the British rural economy.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) attended each of the party conferences this autumn, sponsoring a Rural Reception at which party spokespeople were invited to speak.
Liz Truss MP, secretary of state for environment and rural affairs, confirmed the government’s support of shooting at the Conservative party conference, calling it “vital for the fabric of the UK rural economy.”
Labour’s Angela Smith encouraged the shooting community “to reach out to all sides of the environment management debate” and “build local partnerships through open communication and dialogue”, while Baroness Parminter at the Liberal Democrat party conference, said: “We as a party support all those involved in responsible shooting.”
At the SNP conference, Michael Russell MSP, former environment minister, addressed the role of shooting in light of imminent land reform: “Many people in my constituency either participate in country sports or work within country pursuits. I don’t want to see anything in the Bill that impedes rural activities, particularly deer management.”