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!