Natural Resources Wales have been tasked by the Welsh Government to see what people think about a proposed licensing system for the release of pheasants and red-legged partridges in Wales, writes Russell George MS.

But is all as it seems?

They have asserted that this consultation is not on whether or not shooting live quarry should continue in Wales, but rather on further regulating the sector.

However, to me and many others, this move is the first in the Welsh Government’s ultimate pursuit of putting an end to game shooting in Wales for good.

This belief is not fed by paranoia but by being a Member of the Senedd for 12 years and seeing how the Welsh Government operates.


Give an inch, they’ll take a mile. Beyond that is the zealotry apparent in ministerial responses, where support for the shooting sector is lukewarm at best and contemptuous at worst.

My party wants to see a vibrant, working countryside enhanced by a diverse environment and, as the game shooting sector contributes to this goal, we will not support a ban on the practise, and would fight against one.

County Times:

Whilst game shooting is not something I participate in myself, I am not compelled like those in Welsh Government to intrude on those who do with a big wagging finger.

So, why do I favour the status quo? Simply, shooting has both environmental and economic advantages.

Biodiversity greatly benefits from management activities by the game shooting sector, and those involved in it care deeply for the environments they are active in, as it is an integral part of their pastimes and livelihoods.

Shooting contributes an annual spend of £7.4m to conservation across Wales, equivalent to 490 full-time jobs. Beyond this, shooting activities in Wales contribute £75m to the economy, and there are nearly 3,000 shooting-related businesses across the country, directly employing 2,400 full-time people.

So before supporting efforts to ban shooting, remember it will mean making local workers unemployed, closing businesses, and destroying conservation practices across the nation.

All of this has been conveyed in hundreds of emails in my inbox as well as very well-attended public meetings.

I will continue to stand up for Wales’ rural communities in the face of efforts of out-of-touch ministers in Cardiff Bay to undermine what many of us consider to be a normal part of our culture.

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