It sure has…

A recent article in Shooting UK  asks ‘Has commercial driven shooting reached a watershed?’ – it sure has!

It’s an interesting read, it’s always interesting to see what others think about things that interest you, but my take would be a little different than the author’s.

First, it’s a bit surprising that the author can’t bring himself to inform the readers of Shooting Times that the Fareshare website now says:

FareShare’s guidance on wild game

FareShare can accept wild game providing it meets EU standards for human consumption.

Following FSA advice, we are unable to redistribute game to charities where pregnant women or women trying for children, toddlers or children are being fed.

Wild game products must always be accompanied by on-pack labelling guidance regarding frequency of use and suitable consumers.

Similar advice has been there since 4 August but shooters enjoy living in the past, and I’d missed that last statement about labelling until I looked it up over the weekend. It’s very good. Why aren’t supermarkets doing the same as the very minimum necessary to protect their customers?

It would be even better if all those selling or giving game meat to the public (and my freezer has a lot of venison in it – shot with copper bullets) demanded lead-free meat from estates, game dealers etc.


Second, we are at a watershed because the shooting industry’s response to its own faults is so predictable: IGNORE them, then DENY them, then ATTACK the messengers. It’s not a long-term strategy – patience and time is running out for the shooting industry.

Scotland will introduce licensing over the next couple of years, Defra will introduce restrictions on heather burning over the next few months, the EU will introduce a ban on lead ammunition in a couple of years and there will be a UK Labour government some time before 2020.  And Bradford Council must be likely to ban grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor soon – surely?

That’s a watershed OK.  We are watching the beginning of the terminal decline of driven grouse shooting in its current form and that may give enough of a shock to the system that other forms of ‘hunting’ will clean up their acts.

We will win!


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8 Replies to “It sure has…”

  1. I was offered at random 4 brace of pheasant for free the other day (from a commercial shoot). I nearly took them for digging into a bean trench but then thought why add lead to the vegetable plot.

  2. A Labour Govt isn't a done deal, and anyway their record on environmental issues isn't anything to celebrate. Otherwise, great progress indeed, but in the end I suspect the English (UK) parliament will be the biggest source of obstruction and inertia regardless of which self serving political minnows are swimming in that puddle.

    Yes, I have got very cynical...

  3. It's a wonder that Fareshare accept lead shot game at all. Wouldn't it be a lot simpler if this very laudable company only accepted non toxic meats? It would also help add to the pressure that other retailers are feeling, to do the same.
    Maybe the pressure to change from lead shot would be better coming from the high street since the politicians can't be trusted to do the right thing.

  4. Mark regarding your frozen venison ,before I realised what an inane, cruel and stupid pastime shooting was, as the grandson of a farmer I was a very keen shot. On numerous occasions when gralloching and butchering deer we often found the copper case of the bullet and the lead core detached from each other. On one occasion we found the copper casing in a Roe doe we had shot and the lead core in a yearling calf which had been standing behind her and killed. How often the two detach from each other I don't know , but it certainly is not rare , perhaps it happens every time , perhaps an area for more research.If I have noticed this then the tweed clad brigade must be well aware if it but have never highlighted it , strange that.

  5. A neighbouring farmer (in Norfolk)who is a keen shooter has just installed an incinerator to dispose of the pheasants and partridges which are shot for fun and no one wants to eat. That counters the argument that everything shot provides food. They can’t even give it away. And as for DGS well there’s absolutely nothing to support it continuing.

  6. Slight correction Mark, the article is in Shooting UK, ( thought for a minute I had missed a copy of my favourite weekly), I believe both magazines are from the same stable.
    It goe's halfway to getting the message across, but I am afraid that the only way ( in this respect), to justify continuing to shoot such amounts of game each season, is to have a genuine commercial demand. Giving it away , however laudable the aims, will always be seen by the opponents of shooting as an excuse for the excesses of the commercial sector.
    Incidentally, there is a good piece in this issue of Shooting Times, concerning the amounts of game that Raptors actually kill.
    Generally coming down on the side of science, rather than anecdotal evidence, I thought it quite well balanced, ending with a comment on the increase and spread of Goshawk, and how shooting will have to live with them.
    I found myself in agreement with much of what the author, Matt Cross, had to say.


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