Back in 2017 I wrote this blog post – it’s worth a re-read I think because I was surprised (I’d forgotten, these things don’t stay with me very long) how vitriolic the shooting industry can get.
In that blog, I wrote this;
Some in the shooting industry think that I have broken that promise but I haven’t. (Let’s leave aside the fact that driven grouse shooting hasn’t yet been banned).
What I was saying in the passage above was that I would never campaign for a ban on Pheasant and partridge shooting – and I’m not. If I change my mind on that I’ll most certainly tell you.
In my recent British Birds paper on Pheasants I went out of my way to write this;
So, that’s pretty clear I think.
But in any case, Wild Justice’s legal challenge is to Michael Gove and Defra and it is on a matter of environmental law – the requirement of the UK to assess the impact of plans or projects under the Habitats Directive. Releasing all those non-native gamebirds into the countryside at this time of year is, to our mind, and on our legal advice, a plan or project, and it is one which Defra must assess.
I can imagine Wild Justice taking somewhat similar challenges in the future too – let us know if any spring to your minds – but it isn’t surprising that an almost wholly unregulated recreational game-shooting industry is a prime target for this type of scrutiny. Defra ought to have done it already but Wild Justice intends to make that happen.
But I’m looking forward to the Game Fair a week today. I’m sure I’ll get a warm welcome.