Wales has banned pheasant shooters from public land and almost everyone’s delighted

Dead pheasants
Support us and go ad-free

National Resources Wales (NRW) has chosen not to renew pheasant and gamebird shooting licences on its land from March 2019. Anti-shooting campaigners have celebrated the decision as a victory for wildlife. But one group wasn’t happy at all.

Campaign success

On 20 September, NRW announced it wouldn’t renew licences for shooting pheasants and other game birds on its land. The change will take effect in March 2019. The Daily Post quoted Hannah Blythyn, Welsh environment minister, as saying:

…the Welsh government does not support commercial pheasant shooting, or the breeding of gamebirds or the birds being held in holding pens on the estate prior to release on the Welsh government estate.

It comes after a campaign by Animal Aid began in October 2015. The animal rights group said a review of pheasant and gamebird shooting by the Welsh government resulted from its campaign. A petition during the review collected over 12,700 signatures. And a public consultation showed 76% of responses wanted the ban.

The NRW said it currently leases 293 hectares of land for shooting.

*Round of applause*

Animal Aid said the news was a “massive victory”:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

And it was met with delight on Twitter by other animal rights groups:

Meanwhile, others said the decision showed the era of bloodsports is ending:

But the news didn’t please everybody. One small section of the population was very unhappy: shooters.

*Grumbling noises*

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation said the decision “pandered to animal rights extremists”:

And it described it with a straight face as the result of “the radical petitioning of extremist groups”:

Countryside Alliance Wales felt hard done by:

As did the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust:

While one man, who appears to be a member of all three groups, claimed without evidence that the decision will “put many people onto benefits”:

Shooting themselves in the foot

The pheasant shooting season runs between 1 October and 1 February. And its scale is immense. The biomass of pheasants released for shooting annually comes in at 40,000 tonnes. By comparison, the entire regular UK bird population weighs in at just 25,000 tonnes.

Shooting is also damaging to other animals. Up to 400,000 wild birds are poisoned each year by lead shot. And the deaths of rare birds have also been linked to game shoots.

As a result, shooters have fallen back onto using jobs and the economy as the main defence for their hobby. But this is a sure sign that bloodsport enthusiasts are quickly running out of excuses. The future is getting brighter for animals and wildlife in the UK. And NRW’s decision is a high point.

Get Involved!

Read more at The Canary about game shooting.

– Go on the People’s Walk for Wildlife on 22 September.

Featured image via Jonathan M. McGee/YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed