Your opinion on shooting

I am emailing you as a general election candidate for my constituency to ask for your views on shooting.

Shooting plays a key role in the economy and management of the countryside. The ‘Value of Shooting’ report (2014) shows that:

- Shooting supports the equivalent of 74,000 full time jobs in the UK
- Shooting is worth £2 billion to the UK economy (GVA)
- Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the rural land area
- 600,000 people in the UK shoot live quarry, clay pigeons or targets
- Shoot providers spend nearly £250 million a year on conservation

For further information on the benefits of shooting click the link below:

http://basc.org.uk/value_of_shooting_infographic

Given this, I would be grateful if you would answer the following two questions:

1. Do you support sustainable shooting conducted according to the law and the current codes of practice?
Yes / No / Don’t Know

2. If elected, will you join the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shooting and Conservation?
Yes / No / Don’t Know

I will be letting the British Association for Shooting and Conservation know about your reply. They represent over 155,000 British shooters and will be letting their members and others know where MPs stand. If you’d like to expand on your views, please do, and BASC will make arrangements for people to find out about your views in detail.

Thank you in advance for responding to these questions.

Answer:
As a Liberal, I believe people should have as much freedom as possible, so long as they take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
Therefore I am not opposed to shooting where it is conducted in a legal, responsible and sustainable manner. Indeed, in an age of intensive agriculture, I believe that game has the potential to be a more ethical source of food than some of the meat we find in the supermarket.
I would hope that any responsible shooter or game-keeper would keep an open mind when legitimate concerns about animal welfare or the impact of the industry on the natural environment are raised. As an MP, I would aim to build an open and honest relationship with all the interest groups which affect South East Cornwall. I am aware that some APPGs have an excellent reputation for balanced debate, whilst others lean uncomfortably close to becoming one-sided lobbying groups. If the APPG on Shooting and Conservation behaves like the former, I would certainly hope to be involved; but if it tends towards the latter, I would keep more of a distance.
Best wishes
Colin
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