BASC obviously feels that it is in a corner and simply resorts to nastiness.
Apparently crowdfunding for a legal case to challenge government’s inaction on environmental protection is ‘extremism’ in BASC’s view. Really? Using the law of the land is extremism?
I don’t know whether we in Wild Justice will win or lose, but it’s clear that we have won so far – DEFRA were forced to agree that there was more that they could do on gamebird releases, DEFRA was forced by the Wild Justice case to do a review of gamebird impacts on nature conservation (which we have not yet seen) and a judge has ordered that the Wild Justice case should be heard before the end of October so that if it were successful any implications would be known in time to be implemented before the 2021 shooting season. None of this BASC wanted, all of this BASC sounded off about, but all of it is happening. I would think that DEFRA is rather embarrassed to have the likes of BASC associated with them (and if they aren’t, then they should be).
That’s the thing about the law, all the bluster in the world is unlikely to influence the result.
It will be an interesting court room if, by then, we are allowed to attend in person. I look forward to seeing DEFRA cuddling up to the NGO, BASC and the Countryside Alliance on one side of the court. Social distancing from the very rude BASC will not depend on the state of coronavirus. But if we can’t all get into court then watching the case by videoconference will be interesting too. Thay might get quite an audience.
I’m not sure whether I hope that BASC is spending loads of its members’ money or very little of it, but so far it’s difficult to see that they are getting any value at all out of it.
I spent half an hour or so yesterday evening talking to a journalist in Chicago about our case. It’s always entertaining to hear Americans’ complete astonishment when the British shooting norms are described. I think many Americans have a positive feeling towards hunting and they imagine that game shooting is rather similar, so when they hear that every year 47 million Pheasants are released into an area about the size of Michigan they are rather gobsmacked. And then when they realise that the British form of hunting involves waiting for captive-bred Pheasants to be driven towards a line of stationary guns who blast away at them you can hear their jaws drop even 4000 miles away. And when they hear that you don’t need a shooting licence in the UK, just a gun licence, to be able to shoot ‘game’ within season if you have the landowner’s permission they are amazed. And when they hear that there are no limits set on how many non-native gamebirds can be released or how many an individual can shoot they are similarly stunned.
BASC and others will be interested to read the next two Wild Justice newsletters (hint, they will get a name check). The first will go out tomorrow as we are putting it together now, the second is likely to go out next Tuesday or so, as we are writing that one now too. BASC members might like to subscribe to get a more rounded view of what is happening in the world and if they do they will be very welcome. Click here to subscribe.