Liverpool City Council’s public attack on shooting, which led to the Liverpool Exhibition Centre terminating its contract for a British Shooting Show event in September 2020, has been labelled “woeful”, “unfair” and “misinformed” by BASC, the UK’s largest shooting association.
BASC hit back with the facts after the Council declared its complete opposition to “shooting live game, in the UK or overseas” saying it “is barbaric in all cases”.
The announcement from the Council follows the Liverpool Exhibition Centre terminating the contract for the new British Shooting Show Liverpool event, after intervention from the Mayor, Joe Anderson.
Garry Doolan, BASC’s deputy director of communications, said: “The Mayor’s poorly-advised intervention appears to put him seriously at odds with his own party which only last week at its annual conference spoke of the importance of shooting to the economy and environment.
“The motion shows a complete disregard for the reality of the British countryside and is an attack and slur on the British shooting community that is both unfair and unwarranted.
“To state that shooting game in the UK is ‘barbaric in all cases and threatens species that are already precarious’ is a woeful misrepresentation of the reality of ethical, sustainable shooting.
“There are around 5,000 lawful and legitimate firearms and shotgun owners on Merseyside who play their part in an activity that is worth around £2 billion each year to the UK economy.
“Shooting keeps people in jobs, supports fragile rural economies with trade to pubs and B&Bs and has helped create and manage the countryside as we know it. Shooting and its conservation work is involved in the management of two-thirds of the rural land in the UK.
“BASC is seeking clarification from the Council and has already contacted the Mayor’s office and MPs in the Liverpool area to gain assurances that this damaging motion is retracted.
“BASC will not stand by to see shooting and British companies impeded by unscientific and unreasoned motions.”
In his letter to Mayor Joe Anderson, BASC’s head of policy and campaigns Dr Conor O’Gorman said: “This statement represents an attack and slur on the British shooting community that is both unfair and unwarranted.
“Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the rural land area. There are 3.9 million work days spent on conservation every year, which is the equivalent of 16,000 full-time conservation jobs and two million hectares are actively managed for conservation as a result of shooting.
“Furthermore, the motion proposes that Liverpool City Council lobbies other local authorities and the government on banning shows and events. Such lobbying would be outside its remit to residents.”
Dr O’Gorman went on to say in the letter BASC was “surprised” that such a “poorly composed and misinformed motion” had passed due diligence to be put forward for debate and vote at a full meeting of Liverpool City Council on 16 October.
BASC has written to all Liverpool MPs and will be emailing all members in Liverpool to ask them to write to their elected councillors asking them to oppose the motion at the meeting of the city council next week.