The big debate at this year’s CLA Game Fair at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire is titled The Future of Shooting.

It will be held in the Game Fair Theatre on 24 July at 10am. BASC’s chief executive John Swift will chair the debate between representatives from the three main political parties.

BASC’s Christopher Graffius told Shooting Times that the debate will be a great opportunity to hear the politicians’ views on important issues such as raptors, shooting standards, Government levies for combating gamebird diseases and shoot licensing systems: “This debate gives political parties the chance to go on the record with their support for shooting in advance of the General Election. It also gives the shooting community the chance to quiz the politicians on the issues that concern them most about the sport,” he said.

Mr Graffius added that the debate will demonstrate to Britain’s key decision makers the importance of shooting in rural life. It will also allow shooters the chance to forge alliances with those who have political responsibility for the sport.

The Countryside Alliance’s Jill Grieve urged shooters to attend the debate to find out first-hand what challenges face the sport: “With less than a year until the General Election, everyone who shoots is going to want to hear how the main parties plan to promote and defend shooting and this debate is an ideal forum. The future of this £1.6billion industry will play a vital role in the countryside’s economic, social and environmental future so it’s in all our interests to question politicians on their commitment to it.”

For tickets and further information on The CLA Game Fair, visit www.gamefair.co.uk.