Natural Resources Wales, a Welsh government-sponsored body, voted to end the shooting leases on its estate, bowing largely to pressure from animal rights groups as well as the Welsh environment minister, Hannah Blythyn.
Ms Blythyn had said her party (Labour) was opposed to the continuation of commercial shooting, but NRW appeared set to renew its shooting leases with a number of regulations on the shoots that take place there.
However, just days before NRW’s board was set to vote, Ms Blythyn then imposed her anti-shooting views on the board, instructing them to vote against shooting. In an extraordinary move, she then distanced herself from responsibility for the decision, saying her call for NRW to ban shooting was not actually binding.
Steve Griffiths, BASC director Wales, said: “On first flush, it appears that the minister is now shifting the blame to the NRW board.
“We can only hope this is because the public outcry from those who appreciate the potentially damaging impact of this decision has made the minister finally realise the true value of shooting to fragile rural economies and sensitive environments.
“We don’t believe it is too late to reverse this decision and we are urgently seeking clarity from NRW as to their understanding of the minister’s very late intervention.”
BASC has launched a full campaign to get NRW to change its mind, including a video explaining the benefits of shooting and a dedicated website making it easier for people in Wales to contact their MPs.
Visit the page at: www.basc.org.uk/nrw/