BASC not quite facing up to reality

https://basc.org.uk/shooting-organisations-face-up-to-gamebird-release-legal-threat/

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.

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8 Replies to “BASC not quite facing up to reality”

  1. Never thought I’d agree with the BASC, but in this case they are right, it is extreme. It is extreme that having paid taxes we then have to stump up more cash to get the government to do what most rational people would expect them to do anyway.
    It is extreme that the government cosy up to these people in the full and comfortable knowledge that most of the population know nothing about what is going on.
    It is extreme that any government allows organised crime on its doorstep.
    It is extreme that in 2021 Wild Justice even exists.
    Thank god they do.

  2. I’d forgotten that most, if not all game shooting across the pond was either walked up or over dogs, the latter a direct descent from falconry of course. Yes our mass shootings of live targets must come as a bit of a shock if they are not part of the very rich that come here for grouse.
    The bluster of BASC is to be expected, its par for the course from them and no it won’t get them anywhere legally. I hope that you win, then anyone interested in the ecology of our countryside should be on your side.

  3. I would not be surprised if BASC and other shooter organisations have a niece cosy relationship with DEFRA and DEFRAs puppet on a string organisation , Natural England. and they are worried about loosing it.
    Just incredible that BASC are accusing Wild Justice of extremism. I think what they are really getting at is that Wild Justice’s legal action threatens to come in between them and their cosy relationship with DEFRA and NE
    So well done Wild Justice, the more we can break up these cosy relationships by use of the law the better. I would not be surprised if what often happens “ under the table” is that, for example, the shooters just tell DEFRA and NE what they want to do and then get on with it. This sort of cosy relationship has got to stop and it will curtesy of Wild Justice.

  4. Poor old Natural England, they seem to be taking quite a bashing lately? The latest edition of British Wildlife has just landed and Dominic Woodfield has penned a letter asking the question “Will Natural England survive?” That in turn reminded me of the article by Peter Marren in a previous edition of the magazine asking the same question. Whatever happened to that new “world leading” nature conservation agency the Government talked of in 2018?

    I suppose a skeptic might be forgiven for pondering that the muzzled watch dog which morphed into a toothless terrier is now a lap dog and as such is a useful hound, so why would they change or cull it?

    This isn’t a skit at hard working staff but the politicians who are manipulating the system to their own ends.

  5. One of the things you learn (or don’t as seems to be the case with shooting interests) when public opinion goes against you is how fast the carpet can roll up – would there be a court case today if grouse shooting had held it’s hand up and stopped killing Hen Harriers ? From a marginal issue, the whole of game ird shooting is now in the dock – and quite rightly, too. I would probably never hsve known that a greater biomass of reared gamebirds afe now being released than our entire wild avifauna, nor that that nimber had gone up by three times since I was invplved professionally with Pheasant shooting.

    But I did know from the very beginning that shooting had got it wrong.

    1. Is it my imagination , or has the standard of typing greatly deteriorated on this blg.

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